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

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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