Labor unions to EPA: Save our jobs, not the environment!

Posted by: ST on March 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Another one you can file under the Dept. of You Can’t Make This Stuff Up (bolded emphasis added by me):

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration’s environmental agenda, long a target of American business, is beginning to take fire from some of the Democratic Party’s most reliable supporters: Labor unions.

Several unions with strong influence in key states are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency soften new regulations aimed at pollution associated with coal-fired power plants. Their contention: Roughly half a dozen rules expected to roll out within the next two years could put thousands of jobs in jeopardy and damage the party’s 2012 election prospects.

“If the EPA issues regulations that cost jobs in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Republicans will blast the President with it over and over,” says Stewart Acuff, chief of staff to the president of the Utility Workers Union of America. “Not just the President. Every Democratic [lawmaker] from those states.”

A range of American companies that depend on fossil fuel—from coal and oil firms to manufacturers—have complained about the Obama EPA, one reason the administration has had tense relations with business. In meetings in recent days, representatives of electric power utilities that rely heavily on coal-fired plants, and some large unions, have taken their concerns to the White House. The companies and the unions have said a new regulation targeting mercury and other toxic pollutants, due to be proposed this week, could lead to higher electric bills, billions of dollars in new costs and the closing of plants that employ thousands of workers.

Now that labor unions are joining the chorus, the pressure on the agency is intensifying. Some Democrats, worried about potential job losses in industrial states, are already urging the EPA to slow down its push to combat climate change.

EPA officials say such criticisms are premature, since some of the rules in question have yet to be proposed, and that history shows the benefits of tougher environmental rules greatly outweigh the costs.

But on some issues, the EPA has begun to slow the pace of its efforts, saying publicly that it needs more time to consider the science behind them or review comments from affected groups.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, or her top aide on air quality, Regina McCarthy, has recently spoken with representatives of several unions that collectively have given tens of millions of dollars over the years to Democratic candidates. Among them: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the Utility Workers Union and the United Mine Workers.

Collusion? Hmm.

Anyway,  so just for purposes of discussion (and laughs) I’m pretending that I believe that the Obama EPA really can help “save the planet” via new or tighter regulations, hence the headline of this blog post.   Assuming that their ideas really could make a positive impact on the environment (that’s certainly what they and other militant enviro-lefties want you to believe, anyway), isn’t it somewhat amusing that one of the their core constituencies is proposing putting the “health” of the planet on the backburner because they’d rather be guaranteed job security?

It’s interesting that when GOP lawmakers voice their concerns about proposed Obama/Democrat EPA regulations (overreaching, will have a decisively negative economic impact, are based on flawed science, etc), they’re met with the condescending sneers of liberals who suggest that Republicans are only interested in “big business” raking in the dough without a care for the trees and the animals and the air.  Yet when Big Labor makes its voice known about what they fear the impact would be from the tighter regulations (read: lost job security), all of a sudden the administration also has “concerns” about whether or not they are moving too fast and furthermore thinks it might be a good idea to re-examine the science behind the data after all?

And here you thought that we were all supposed to “sacrifice” for the “greater good” (read: “survival of mankind”).  But apparently in Demo-World, the only people who are supposed to sacrifice are the people who don’t contribute to the war chests of Democrat politicos.  Imagine that …

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6 Responses to “Labor unions to EPA: Save our jobs, not the environment!”


  1. david foster says:

    “The Obama administration’s environmental agenda, long a target of American business”

    This is only partly true. Certainly, those businesses that will be cripped or destroyed by those regulations tend to oppose them. But there are also businesses which benefit…say, uneconomic solar-power-equipment producers receiving subsidies…which are all in favor of them.

    Obama-style “progressivism” creates a never-ending neo-Hobbesian war of all against all.

  2. Carlos says:

    The EPA rules have absolutely nothing to do with protecting the environment.

    It is all designed to give government more power, and the tools of the Sierra Club and other envirowhacko orgs are just too dumb or unconcerned to notice. They are dumbe enough to believe that in that brave new world of theirs they will be one of the overlords, not the underlings they really are.

    And it’s about time the unions are waking up to the fact that their “protected species” (i.e., the rank and file) are simply fodder for the progressives/socialists greater plans.

  3. Dale says:

    David brings up a good point. There are many businesses that are depending on the Obama administration to shove through a green agenda. The biofuel industry is an excellent example.

  4. paul says:

    this new obama law called the epa rrp rule lead paint in going to kill bussiness with fines of 37,000 per volation small contractors will be forced out of bussiness thanks to barry obama:((:((

  5. Brontefan says:

    You are right, Carlos–the EPA has nothing to do with environmental protections. It is all about GOVERNMENT CONTROL.

  6. Lorica says:

    If any these guys were truly serious about saving the planet then they would make a law that states that ALL products imported into this country will only come from EPA approved plants, which are inspected annually including the surrounding area. Non-complience would end your import rights. It would be amazing how fast manufacturing would return to this country.

    I find it odd how this current President has increased the budget of the EPA only to combat the lie that is global warming. I guess these Unionites should have listened to Candidate Obama, instead of just being idiots and blindly pulling that lever. – Lorica