Today, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform held a hearing on excessive new energy regulations that will raise costs on American families and small businesses, and put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk. While the Obama Administration concedes that “industries that use electricity will face higher electricity prices,…reduce output, and demand less labor” as a result of the new rules, it has made no effort to quantify the number of jobs that would be lost. At today’s hearing, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli provided more detail on the devastating impact these regulations will have on jobs and local economies:
- An Estimated “180,000 Jobs Lost Per Year for Each Year Between 2013 and 2020.” These rules will “create massive job losses. … There are estimates of 180,000 jobs lost per year for each year between 2013 and 2020. Of particular interest to me are estimates that 20,000 coal jobs will be lost, causing states in the Appalachian coal region to lose approximately 50,000 jobs each due to ripple effects.”
- “There Is No Question that Certain Plants Will Close.” “Because retrofitting plants to meet the standards will be prohibitively expensive, there is no question that certain plants will close and that the nation’s available electricity supply will decrease. … That will place more upward pressure on prices and likely cause brownouts and blackouts at periods of peak demand.”
- “It Will Increase Electricity Prices.” “[I]t will increase electricity prices. Estimates are that prices will increase between 10 and 35 percent. For business struggling to meet payroll or families on fixed incomes, a 10 percent increase – let alone a 35 percent increase – in a monthly electric bill is a financial death blow.”
Attorney General Cuccinelli is part of a bipartisan group of 25 governors and state attorneys general who have filed an amicus brief urging a one-year delay in the implementation of the rules to allow time to analyze the cumulative impacts they will have on jobs, the economy, and energy reliability.
The new House majority has also taken action by passing the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, bipartisan legislation that requires an interagency review of the cumulative impacts of these rules “on jobs, energy prices, electric reliability, and America’s overall global economic competitiveness,” according to the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The TRAIN Act is one of more than 15 bipartisan bills the House has passed as part of the Plan for America’s Job Creators to protect jobs threatened by red tape, and create a better environment for private-sector job growth. In remarks last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called on President Obama to help pass these “forgotten 15” jobs bills that have languished in the Democratic-controlled Senate:
“Many of these bills passed the House with bipartisan support, 15 common-sense bills that will help get our economy moving again. The president says ‘we can’t wait’ to take action on jobs, and I agree. Mr. President, help us with the United States Senate to pass these bipartisan, common-sense bills that will get our economy moving once again.’”