Jobs Don't Matter To the EPA

Back in January, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, with the stated intention of “improving regulation and regulatory review” for the many agencies of the federal government, including the Environmental Protection Agency.  Its very first principle declares, “Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.”

Much was made of the “job creation” imperative.  It was President Obama’s top priority, and the first thing he thought about when he got up every morning.  In the original document, the period after “job creation” was a hole burned into the paper by the laser-like focus of Obama’s vast intellect.

Three months later, Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO) of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce was discussing this very subject with Mathy Stanislaus, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.  Gardner asked about an “economic analysis” the EPA had performed on some regulations, in keeping with the EPA’s determination to measure their costs and benefits.  The following exchange ensued:

It’s a good thing for Mr. Stanislaus that Representative Gardner does not burn holes in things with the laser-like focus of his vast intellect.

So, there you have it: the EPA doesn’t look at the impact on jobs at all when they issue regulations.  They don’t consider jobs to be part of a “detailed economic analysis.”  That goes a long way toward explaining why President Obama keeps talking about his “economic recovery” when every week seems to bring fresh “unexpected” news about the shrinking U.S. workforce.  The economy doesn’t look so bad, if you forget about all the people who participate in it.  Likewise, EPA regulations appear much less expensive if we simply ignore the value of the jobs they destroy.