‘Job-Killing’ EPA Project Will Create 35 Times as Many Jobs as Keystone XL Pipeline


Written by Michael Conathan for Climate Progress

If rhetoric from the Republican Presidential candidates is to be believed, the Environmental Protection Agency is “a tool to crush the private enterprise system” (Mitt Romney), “a cemetery for jobs” (Rick Perry), and “should be re-named the job-killing organization of America” (Michele Bachmann). But it’s a safe bet the tens of thousands of people who may soon find jobs implementing EPA regulations aimed at cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay would disagree with those assertions.

A new report released today by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation highlights the job creation numbers expected to come from achieving new pollution goals set by the EPA’s “Total Maximum Daily Load” restrictions. Finalized in December 2010, these rules require a 25 percent reduction of pollution flowing into the Bay by 2025 and have already spurred state and federal investment in stormwater mitigation projects, upgrades at sewage treatment facilities, addition of power plant smokestack scrubbers, and improvements to management of agricultural runoff and livestock waste management.

The Bay’s watershed covers more than 64,000 square miles including all of Maryland and the District of Colombia, large areas of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and portions of Delaware, New York, and West Virginia. Therefore infrastructure projects to reduce pollution will encompass a massive region and provide a major boost to the economy.

Of course, the clock is already ticking on a newly minted, 60 day, congressional mandate for the President to issue a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would carry dirty Canadian tar sands oil from the great white north across America’s heartland and endanger a critical aquifer. By setting up what one former pipeline inspector called a potential “disaster,” the pipeline would ultimately deliver massive quantities of oil to the Gulf Coast only to see the vast majority of it exported.

Keystone proponents, including House Speaker John Boehner, have asserted that the project would immediately create “tens of thousands” of American jobs. These claims seem just a tad hyperbolic now that the oil company itself has conceded that the actual number of jobs that would be created is closer to 6,000 to 6,500, and would only last for two years.

Meanwhile, the jobs spawned by coastal restoration and pollution reduction projects in the Chesapeake are already here, and they are permanent. According to the Foundation’s report, environmental clean-up and monitoring jobs have increased by 43 percent — 42,000 jobs — over the last two decades in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia alone. Montgomery County, MD has begun work on a stormwater pollution control project that will create 3,300 jobs in that county alone. And these numbers don’t begin to account for the increase in employment opportunities and revenue for small businesses that depend on a healthy coastal ecosystem, from tourism to commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture.

This is yet another example of how strong environmental standards can create new employment opportunities. This is the type of strategy we need – cleaning up pollution, increasing efficiency, developing renewable energy – that will make this country stronger.

When they talk about the EPA, Republicans use the term “job-killing” with great frequency. As Iñigo Montoya famously said to Vizzini in The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

This post was originally published by Climate Progress a branch of ThinkProgress.


Related Stories:

Another Republican Attempt to Gut the Clean Water Act

6 Reasons America Needs to Say “No” to the Reckless Keystone XL Pipeline

The Dirty Truth About Tar Sands Oil Extraction


Photo of Chesapeake Bay from jim brickett via flickr


Sarah M.
Sarah M.4 years ago


Marsha S.
Grover Syck4 years ago

The republiskunk mantra is:
Lie, deny, change the subject, and when all else fails, assault your opponents motives and character.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson4 years ago

It is pretty obvious that they do not understand job-killing or they would not be trying to cut social spending everywhere they see it (even though social spending has the greatest multiplier effect, the greatest savings in other areas, and the greatest benefit) and they would not be balancing budgets on the backs of regular folks...

Littlewolf H
Richard Heinlein4 years ago

I wonder how many of these politicians have money on this deal, I believe the old vulgar english dictionary said if you call someone a poliotician it was akin to calling them a B...tard because they do not hear or listen

Kristina C.
Kristina C.4 years ago

I thought we learned not to trust republicans!
Thank you for sharing the story.

Ruby W.
Ruby W.4 years ago

Great article! I

Ernie Miller
william Miller4 years ago

its not about jobs and never has been is is about money and the ability of corperations to make it with out interferance of the government or people. the only reason they are mentioning jobs is because of the high unemployment caused but buisness steeling from the public.

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for the article.

Marjorie F.
Marjorie F.4 years ago

OK people we need to get this right. We let them fool us now several times are we going to do it again? I hope not. Deregulating, or no oversight or in this case to dissolve the EPA will be to invite disaster once again. When we stopped regulating the banks we all got screwed and by the way, that was not good for jobs. Anyway, It will take many people: to implement the changes needed to conform to the new higher standards, to do actual clean up, it will mean that new technology must be found, to upgrade factories and processing plants. Also there will be administrative jobs and investigators and so on and so on... Don't let these people undo any more of the good work our forefathers worked so hard to do, They set up these regulations for a reason, to protect the people of America and our health and wellfare. Any one who wants to take that away has their own interest in mind and that should raise a Red Flag to you.

sherry l.
sherry luciano4 years ago

Just don't listen to Republicans. They just can't seem to tell the truth about anything. Winning and power is everything to them. They'll try to get there any way they can.