Obama has spoken up and addressed the debate over whether environmental restrictions help or deter jobs creation and the economy. Spark News has covered this topic a lot lately and to hear President Obama publicly expressing his opinion on the topic proves its importance and prevalence.
According to Obama, cleaner air and water does not have to mean that the economy’s growth will be stunted. As Business Week reports, the president visited the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently to talk to its workers. The agency has been under great scrutiny as of late as Republicans vying for the presidency argue that the EPA’s policies and regulations hinder company job growth and, in turn, the economy. Republican candidates Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have gone as far as suggesting that the entire agency should be abolished and done away with. In a debate last month, other Republican candidate Mitt Romney stated that the EPA has “‘has gotten completely out of control’ and is hindering energy development.”
A lot of protestors to the EPA’s regulations and policies argue that they come at large costs to company’s and don’t make a large enough difference to compensate the large expenses. To counter-act their argument, Obama called upon people to remember why the EPA was established in the first place by Richard Nixon in 1970. At that time, many waterways were very polluted and cars were emitting harmful toxins into the atmosphere. “You almost want to do a ‘Back to the Future’ kind of reminder of folks of what happens when we didn’t have a strong EPA,” he said.
Don’t get the wrong idea, though. President Obama is not one to listen and follow everything the EPA proposes. In fact, he received a lot of negative feedback from environmentalists and EPA workers alike when he denied the EPA’s proposal to increase rules on the ozone and the toxins that are being released into it. With a projected cost of $19 to $90 billion dollars, it’s hard not to agree with his decision; especially when the majority of the country is more concerned with the economy and the job market.
With this, it seems as though Obama has take a politically sound stance on the issue. He supports the EPA and clean air and waterways, but only to a point that is feasible in our current economic situation. His opinion fails to sway one’s ideas one way or the other, but rather suggests that there are both good and bad sides to the topic proving its difficulty. What do you think about the EPA’s regulations and how they effect the economy and/or job market?