Current Energy Commentary
Each week Marita’s news-based energy commentary can be found on a variety of websites and newspapers. Read the latest here!
Regcession—why Americans aren’t feeling Obama’s “vigorous recovery”
President Obama is trying, according to CNN, to “convince voters of a vigorous recovery that a majority still doubts.” Describing comments the president made on October 2 at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, CNN calls his attempt, the “political problem inherent in having to describe an economic recovery that many Americans still aren’t feeling.”
The coverage points to polling data that shows the public still sees that the economy is “poor”—with 56 percent disapproving of how Obama has handled the economy.
Perhaps people are beginning to sense what a new documentary makes clear. We may not officially be in a recession, as some numbers have ticked slightly up, but people, as CNN pointed out, aren’t feeling it.
What are they feeling? Higher electricity rates at home, plant closures, and jobs being sent overseas, while few new jobs are being created at home.
On a recent radio interview, a caller told me that companies shouldn’t be allowed to move their business—and the jobs previously held by Americans—overseas. He wanted laws passed that prevented closing an American plant and reopening in China, hiring the locals. I believe laws can be passed that would slow, what Ross Perot called, the “giant sucking sound”—the sound of jobs and economic growth being sucked from America to Mexico, China, or some other country that makes it easier to do business. Instead of controlling whether or not a company can do what is best for its bottom line, wouldn’t it be better to make America the best business environment?
Current government policy is actually the cause of that “giant sucking sound,” the reason people aren’t feeling a supposed economic recovery. These policies, in the form of regulations—especially those from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are keeping people from living the American dream and are even lowering the standard of living from that of our parents.
While we may not technically be in a recession, we are in a regcession—an economic decline caused by excessive regulations. The cost of complying with the regulations makes it virtually impossible to meet them and remain competitive or make a profit. The result of these regulations: Americans lose their jobs, as businesses close or move to more hospitable countries.
Released on October 7, a new documentary (on YouTube): “Regcession: The EPA is Destroying America” boldly posits that regulations are actually causing more world-wide pollution, destroying American jobs, and even putting America itself at risk.
Citing President Abraham Lincoln: “If America is to be destroyed, it will be from within,” Regcessionmakes a strong case illustrating Lincoln’s wisdom.
Regcession proclaims: “Instead of standing up to regulatory insanity, companies have taken the path of least resistance and sent jobs to China.”
Detroit is one such example. President Obama proudly claims the bailout of General Motors (GM) as one of his great successes. We taxpayers had no say in the $49.5 billion we funded to keep GM afloat—supposedly saving jobs and saving Detroit. Yet, as Obama-appointed GM CEO Dan Akerson (2010-2014) said during a 2011 visit to China’s Shanghai Auto Show: “Our commitment to working in China, with China, for China remains strong and focused on the future.” He called the eleven joint ventures with China “eleven keys to success” and bragged that seven out of ten cars GM makes are made outside the U.S. Only one-third of GM’s workers are in America.
We bailed out GM. China’s economy is booming, while Detroit became the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. GM sells more cars in China than in the U.S., while American’s can’t pay their mortgage—let alone buy a new car. Regcession points out that Americans are increasingly driving older cars.
“China’s unregulated industry and underpaid workers, combined with free trade policies make it impractical for American corporations to keep American jobs in America,” states Regcession.
The film features Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) saying: “This administration has generated nothing short of a mountain of red tape—hundreds of new regulations. Of these, at least 219 have been categorized as significant. What that means is that they will cost more than $100 million a year.” It shows TV host John Stossel, author of Give Me a Break and No they Can’t, surrounded by boxes—the 160 thousand pages of new regulations. Yet, the EPA keeps proposing more regulations.
“Anything that hurts the economy, hurts the American worker,” Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville, states. “Environmental regulations in general, while originally well intended to try to protect the environment, end up going overboard and ultimately destroying jobs.”
Since the Clean Air Act was revised in 1990, demand for electricity in the U.S.—along with the American lifestyle—has dropped. Concurrently, China’s demand for electricity—and its lifestyle—has gone up. A growing economy requires more electricity, not less.
America used to manufacture goods that the world wanted. But manufacturing is messy and regulations sent industry away. We now send China, for example, our coal and our lumber. Due to regulations and free-trade laws, it is cheaper and easier for companies to use these American raw materials and manufacture products there and then ship the finished goods to the U.S. America loses the jobs, economic growth, increased property values, and the taxes that would have been generated through the entire process. China puts our cash in its pocket.
Using mitigating human-caused climate change as the excuse, EPA regulations increasingly ratchet down on American industry and electricity generation. Hundreds of billions of dollars have already been spent to remove sulfur, mercury, and particulates from emissions—only to have new regulations force those same factories and power plants to shut down over new carbon dioxide regulations. Jobs go overseas, electricity rates rise for the average American, global pollution goes up.
Don Blankenship, Regcession Executive Producer, explained to me, that with the debt trajectory, the U.S. will be broke—thanks to excessive regulations—long before the planet’s projected warming takes place. Yet, the business community is afraid to fight, as regulators have punitive power.
Industrial chemist Chris Skates, author of Going Green, explains it this way: “If we have an amalgam filling in our mouth for a cavity, there’s enough mercury vapor in the vapor of our breath to contaminate the sample. My question is, if the levels we are testing for are that low, who cares?”
Regcession concludes: “The American dream is being eroded by abusive overregulation, corporate greed, union misrepresentation, environmentalists, and a president whose priority is supposed to be protecting and improving lives of Americans, yet is instead hurting Americans.”
But all is not lost. Americans can end the regcession, by abandoning the doomsday-based regulations and instead have practical, meaningful regulations that give American workers a chance to compete. Dumping bad regulations would be an economic shot-in-the-arm, a true “vigorous recovery.”
President Reagan said we needed to do whatever it took to protect the last bastion of freedom that is America—it is too big, too important to fail. Let’s protect America, not change it.
Stand up for America. Stand up for American jobs. Stand up against over-regulation
The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column.