Free Markets, Free People


Why, You Ask, Are Businesses Not Hiring? The EPA For One Reason…

As regular readers know, we’ve been talking about why businesses are sitting on the sidelines and not hiring at the moment.  Businesses don’t like unsettled questions about the arena in which they must operate.  Health care legislation will effect the cost of doing business.  Until that is settled, there’s little incentive to take a chance and hire or expand their business.   If it costs more to do so after the legislation is passed – and it seems it will, they’ll wait to see the eventual outcome (and cost) and adjust accordingly.  Same with cap-and-trade.

However, in that regard, the EPA seems ready to proceed on it’s own schedule and businesses are not liking what they’re hearing:

Officials gather in Copenhagen this week for an international climate summit, but business leaders are focusing even more on Washington, where the Obama administration is expected as early as Monday to formally declare carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant.

An “endangerment” finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions — even if Congress doesn’t pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy more directly, and more quickly, than any global deal inked in the Danish capital, where no binding agreement is expected.

Bottom line – if the administration can’t get it done legislatively, they’ll just assume the authority and implement what they wish to do to restrict emissions and require “changes in machinery” unilaterally.

An EPA endangerment finding “could result in a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “The devil will be in the details, and we look forward to working with the government to ensure we don’t stifle our economic recovery,” he said, noting that the group supports federal legislation.

Can you imagine a more pervasive “emission” or arbitrarily applied set of mandates? Start asking yourself who the favored and unfavored industries are out there? Do you suppose coal fired power plants might be target one? And I’d guess that refiners would be in the same boat – unless they make ethanol.

The point of course is this is a perfect way to target and increase the cost of operating businesses that the EPA decides are the worst CO2 polluters. They’ll just write regulations that require costly renovations and changes. The net outcome, of course, is increased cost to consumers – most likely in their electricity bills, the cost of goods (transportation) and just about every other aspect of life you can imagine.

An endangerment finding would allow the EPA to use the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions, which are produced whenever fossil fuel is burned. Under that law, the EPA could require emitters of as little as 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year to install new technology to curb their emissions starting as soon as 2012.

The EPA has said it will only require permits from big emitters — facilities that put out 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. But that effort to tailor the regulations to avoid slamming small businesses with new costs is expected to be challenged in court.

Legislators are aware that polls show the public appetite for action that would raise energy prices to protect the environment has fallen precipitously amid the recession.

Understanding that the public appetite for such action is very low, legislators are perfectly happy to let cap-and-trade languish. So the bureaucracy is being empowered to go where no elected politician dares at the moment. And if you’re a business, that means you’re still not clear what that means to you at the moment.

And so, you don’t hire. You don’t expand. You’re barely competitive in the global market as it is and now they’re talking about adding more cost? Yeah, that settles everything, doesn’t it? They’ll start hiring tomorrow.

~McQ

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31 Responses to Why, You Ask, Are Businesses Not Hiring? The EPA For One Reason…

  • It’s as if the Democrats are determined to make the 2010 midterms as bloody as possible.

    • They act like lemmings

    • Do you really think the republicans will reverse any of this?

      • I don’t know if they will.  But I think that voters in 2010 will be intent on punishing the people who sicc’ed the EPA on businesses during an economic downturn.  It’s not as if voters typically see beyond punishing the people in charge.  That’s how we wound up with our current President and congress, after all.

    • No, the Dem’s will shovel that cash to certain constituents that make up 51% of the vote.
      In the past this was called BRIBERY; today it’s called welfare state politics.
       

    • People will either get fed up with these idiots and clear house or they will continue voting in the people who promise them more lollipops at the expense of their own freedom and autonomy.  I hope I’m wrong, but the trend seems to be toward the latter.

  • OF course, the EPA finding is based in large part on the IPCC AR4 that the ClimateGate CRU e-mails cast much doubt on.

  • Health care legislation will effect the cost of doing business.

    Not too long ago, my employer openly admitted that depending on the final bill that gets passed, they may opt to pay the fine instead of provide insurance – they will do whichever is cheaper.

    I don’t blame them, either.

  • “The polar bears daddy!”

      • Ya know, we should worry about saving them really.  After we migrate society back to the Gaia worshipping stone age those bears are gonna suddenly appear to be a whole lot less cuddly than they do right now on the idiotbox and in the pretty picture books.

        • I ain’t saving a damned thing.  They wanna go hug one, that’s their business.  I call dibs on their stuff…  :)

          • Exactly, I was ‘worrying’ about saving them as in ‘oh!, maybe we should have let them die! (chomp)”  instead of “the polar bears daddy!”.

            Course these green clowns think the tofu is going to grow, package and deliver itself in our brave new tree hugging no fossil fuel world, so they aren’t worried because they don’t have the brains to BE worried.

  • Right now there are three major bastions of “True Believers” within the adminstration – The EPA, DOJ, and HHS.  And of the three, the EPA has, by far, the greater percentage of mouth-breathers of the lot.  Until recently I supported the EPA and was shocked at how much KoolAide gets slurped up by these folks on a daily basis.  Until Obama came along, they felt constrained by the executive and wanted the green light (sorry about the pun) to step out and “stamp out” polluters.

    An internal study group within the EPA authored a study which contradicts the CO2 Endangerment Finding and the report was suppressed by the administrator.  People I knew within the EPA applauded the decision to repress the study, feeling the members conducting the study were the equivilant of Holocaust “Deniers” (I have heard that term often within the halls of the EPA) and felt no remorse about the treatment they were getting from the administrator.  I knew my days supporting them were numbered when I had the audacity to ask why they were not more supportive of the study – at least in the sense of bringing it to light and put it up for peer review and debate.  (Notice any similarities here.)

    I hate to suggest it but Cap & Trade may actually be better than to let these members of the Green Inquisition loose upon the populace!

    • An unconstitutional act by an unconstitutional department.
      Thank your friends, neighbors, and ancestors that let it come to this over the past 100 years. :-(

    • It’s time to dismantle the EPA

  • We’re so, sooooo screwed.

  • As regular readers know, we’ve been talking about why businesses are sitting on the sidelines and not hiring at the moment.  Businesses don’t like unsettled questions about the arena in which they must operate.  Health care legislation will effect the cost of doing business. If it costs more to do so after the legislation is passed – and it seems it will, they’ll wait to see the eventual outcome (and cost) and adjust accordingly.  Same with cap-and-trade.
    Jesus Christ, what a steaming pile of horse turds. That’s right, blame unemployment on a potential cap-and-trade bill, that might… if conservative doomsayers are 100% correct.. create a mild raise in the price of oil and gas! That might be so devastating for businesses that the very *potential* leads them to refuse to hire anyone!
    Except that we already had a 100% rise in gas prices in about 2 years at the end of the Bush “expansion” and employment somehow failed to collapse. The worst-case scenario already occurred and business profits notably failed to suffer.
    Your degeneration is little short of amazing. You don’t even make the most cursory examination of the world around you anymore before making up baloney to justify your superstitions… obvious contradictions sail blissfully on by.. and coincidentally your comment section has become a stale, dessicated echo chamber full of suck-ups gleefully trying to outdo you in recycling your cr*p.
    No debate in sight.

    • Mild raise?  Bwaahahahahahah.  Dude, you know better, you’re smarter than that.

    • Except that we already had a 100% rise in gas prices in about 2 years at the end of the Bush “expansion” and employment somehow failed to collapse.

      Are you serious?

    • glasnost: you are an idiot.  how do I know this?
      1. You compare a temporary spike in oil prices to a permanent version of same.  Even a liberal should be able to discern the difference.
      2. The issue affects the entire economy.  Electrical power generation will become more expensive, even if it’s just the cost of the paperwork to show compliance.
      Due to power being more expensive, the production of anything else will be more expensive.  Even if it’s a service firm, they still need lighting, power to run computer equipment, etc.
      With oil and oil products being more expensive, the transport of said products will be more expensive.
      The marketing of any product will be more expensive.  Lights, power, and fuel costs will affect everything sold.
      That’s just three large segments where costs will be added at every step, on top of every previously-added cost.  I’m sure I could flesh it out more, but I have (for now, anyway) this thing called a job where they pay me to be productive, not to post on web sites.  I doubt you know anything about that, judging from your post.  If you are employed, I pity your employer.
      Please do the nation a favor and refrain from voting.  If this is your typical mode of thinking, you aren’t very good at it.

  • That 100% increase  was the start of the recession.  It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  As glasnost noticed: It was the END of the Bush expansion.   Glasnost is an idiot and living in a bubble of the liberal ideal where government actions NEVER have any real world consequences.

  • I emit carbon dioxide.

  • “The EPA has said it will only require permits from big emitters”

    Sure. And the gov’t. only regulates ‘navigable waterways’. 

    Many years ago I worked for a municipal environmental department. We cited small businesses for particulate emissions on a regular basis. We even cited one for emitting (in my opinion) steam. There was at least one large business (Anheuser-Busch, to be exact) which got a pass on its emissions. I was told by my supervisor that the city needed to maintain a friendly pro-business environment .

    EPA speaks with forked tongue.

  • Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after ‘Danish text’ leak
    Developing countries react furiously to leaked draft agreement that would hand more power to rich nations, sideline the UN’s negotiating role and abandon the Kyoto protocol

    If I’m reading this right, this was a “bait-n-switch” or better a “reverse-scam”. Only somebody like Soros could love this.

  • If I may answer a question with a question: “Who is John Galt?”