So, Inhofe’s problem with the rule is that it would destroy jobs and our economy. Unfortunately for Inhofe, the facts tell a different story.
Earlier this year, a report came out telling us that full enforcement of the Clean Air Act, the act under which the boiler rule would be implemented, would create an estimated 1.5 million American jobs, almost twice as many jobs as would be “destroyed” according to Inhofe, resulting in a net gain of 700,000 jobs.
On top of that, studies show that every dollar spent on complying with Clean Air Act specifications leads to between $4 and $8 of economic benefits. Those dollars also add up quickly in health benefits, as every dollar spent on Clean Air Act compliance generates a $12 to $30 savings in health costs for Americans.
Not only would it save us money, according to Bloomberg, those boiler rules could have saved lives:
The EPA has said that, in addition to creating jobs, the regulation would improve public health by limiting toxins that people breathe. The rule may prevent as many as 6,500 deaths a year, according to the administration. The boiler standards are meant to help protect Americans from cancer, heart disease and asthma.
To sum this up, the EPA rules would have created more American jobs, saved us money on healthcare, stimulated the economy, and saved American lives.
So why have the rules been delayed? As we’ve pointed out numerous times in the past, this is simply a continuation of the ongoing GOP attack on the EPA. The polluter-friendly GOP has already warned us that the entire agency could be on the chopping block if Republicans take back the White House in next year’s elections, and current GOP favorite Newt Gingrich has called the EPA “a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices.”
Americans are less than a year away from a presidential election – an election that is becoming increasingly significant with regards to the future of environmental protection. Voters have been informed by the GOP candidates themselves as to what they will do if elected into office – abolish or severely weaken the EPA. So the excuse of “I didn’t know” will not be sufficient if important agencies like the EPA are hobbled, and it will be American voters who suffer the economic and health impacts of the Republican war on the environment. A lot is riding on this election, and the future of clean air protections – not to mention gauranteed failure to combat climate change – hang in the balance.