The ‘Forgotten 15′ GOP Jobs Bills

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


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Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act—helps to reduce energy prices and promote job creation by expediting offshore oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Virginia Coast. The House passed this by 266-149 on May 5, 2011.

Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act—promotes job creation and reduces energy prices by reinstating oil drilling permits in the Gulf Coast. The House passed it 263-163 May 11, 2011.

Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act—promotes lower energy costs and job creation by allowing drilling in at least 50 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf believed to have the most oil and gas. The House passed it 243-179 May 12, 2011.

The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act—promotes job growth and reduces energy costs by expediting the process of getting an offshore drilling permit. The House passed it 255-166 June 22, 2011.

The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act—prevents the federal government from interfering with a state’s water quality program once that state has already met existing federal standards, thereby eliminating red tape and tinkering by bureaucrats. The House passed this 239 to 184 on July 13, 2011.

The Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011—improves consumer protection and provides greater economic stability by allowing the Financial Oversight Stability Council  to vote to set aside any harmful federal regulation. The House passed it 241-173 July 21, 2011.

The North American-Made Energy Security Act—promotes job creation and energy security by ending the needless delay of the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

A huge split is dividing two segments of Obama’s base, namely the Keystone XL pipeline, a project to carry up to 900,000 barrels of oil a day from Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Environmentalists believe this resource could inject so much carbon into the atmosphere it would bring climatic Armageddon.

But union labor has strongly endorsed the pipeline.  It would create an estimated 20,000 union jobs and untold thousands of spinoff jobs and provide the U.S. with oil from a friendly country. The House passed the bill 279-147 on July 26, 2011.

The Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act—Seeks to guarantee private companies the flexibility to develop their businesses in the states that offer the best opportunities for growth, job creation and stability. The National Labor Relations Board is trying to stop Boeing Co. from opening a plant in South Carolina because it’s a right-to-work state. The House passed the bill 238-186 on Sept. 15, 2011.

The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts Act—creates an interagency committee to evaluate the economic impacts of EPA regulations and delay the final dates for the maximum achievable control technology (Utility MAC, namely mercury and air toxic standards for utilities) and the cross-state air pollution rule (CSAPR) until the full impact has been studied. Both regulations would cost consumers and businesses $184 billion from 2011 to 2030 and would skyrocket electrical prices. The House passed it 249-169 on June 24, 2011.

The Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act—halts EPA’s overly burdensome rules and allows for effective rules that protect communities economically and environmentally. The vote was 275-142, Oct. 6, 2011.

The EPA Regulatory Relief Act—alleviates the excessive regulatory EPA burden on employers by the boiler MACT rules. The rules could cost more than 1.6 million jobs. The House vote was 275-142 on Oct. 13, 2011.

The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act—bipartisan legislation for safe management of coal combustion residuals to protect jobs and encourage recycling. Passed by the House 276-144 on Oct. 14, 2011.

Those are the “forgotten 15” that Obama and stand-in-the-way Senate Democrats should be red-faced for blocking.

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  • Herman Caintonette

    I wouldn't buy off on a single one of them. Pollution is a subsidy to polluters, as we are the ones who have to pick up the tab. Deep Horizon should have educated you as to why we should move cautiously with respect to deep-water drilling. Trashing our air and water does not create a singe job — if you ignore the medical costs. Eliminating regulations ensures a repeat of the behavior regulations are intended to stop. Not a single jobs-related provision in the lot.

    • pagegl

      Deep Horizon was a problem caused by a company that has had a history of attempting to skirt environmental regulations. Friends and acquaintances in the industry said BP's operation was an oil spill waiting to happen. The problem also has been exacerbated by forcing the oil companies to abandon rigs in shallower water. It's lots easier to fix a blow out if it's only a few hundred feet under water.

      Further, the EPA has, in the past few years, tightened regulations to the point that we are probably operating in an area well beyond diminshing returns. The regulations are now costing more than is returned in cleaner air and water. But, that's what bureaucracies do to justify their existence.

      • Herman Caintonette

        Take the new ozone standards. We have more data, and can conclude that it is more hazardous to our health than it once was. We have a choice: we can do nothing and pass on the costs to those who have to breathe, or we can spend the money to reduce ozone emissions. The Clean Air Act requires the latter, and the bureaucrats are only doing what the law demands. And the problem is?

        • pagegl

          Near as I can tell, the new data suggests levels of 66% of the proposed standard could cause problems to susceptible populations. We also know that there is no threshold level at which ozone can be considered harmless. So, do we set standards that are too expensive to implement with current technology or set standards that are realistic and continue to develop technology that may help us improve air quality. Unfortunately, demanding some standard to be met does not mean that it can be.

          Do we know of all sources of ozone? Which can we regulate and which can we not? Is it possible that we could somehow magically get all controllable sources to emit zero ozone and still have what the EPA considers dangerous levels?

          Consider that we have been working on battery technology for close to forty years and electric cars are still not a practical replacement for IC cars. Same thing with solar cell technology. Perhaps some day we will break out of whatever is causing limits in those technologies but we can safely say it isn't happening over night and most likely will not happen this year or next.

    • Howard

      It is incredible how Republican congressmen and Tait Trussell have such poor judgement in formulating and presenting their point of view. If they were presenting this to the typical either low IQ or totally brainwashed teabagger, they might be lauded for this "insight article with insightful proposals" but progressives also read this stuff and not only find it to be demeaning to the point of being humorous but also points out why the same judgement is responsible for the sixteen percent approval rating of the house.

  • Herman Caintonette

    I would add that we need to invest in infrastructure if we are to compete in this global economy. Just fixing what needs to be fixed will cost $2.2 trillion, according to a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

  • StephenD

    I have some misgivings about the deep water drilling myself but would however support drilling on dry land wherever it can take place. It seems one of the reasons these companies are looking at deep water drilling is because of the rules that govern drilling on land. I don't know why it is so difficult to figure out that if we are energy independent we are once again on top of the food chain in all other areas as Americans. If, with the technology available today, they can't minimize the impact of drilling on land to a safe level, we're all in trouble. Besides, these economic times calls for some drastic measures and that doesn't include installing new traffic lights or paying Teachers Unions Health Benefits for life.

    • Herman Caintonette

      We should be drilling in ANWR, but the Keystone XL pipeline should not be built. Oil is a fungible commodity, and all we would be doing is subsidizing Canada's exports. No benefits here, and lots of environmental issues.

      • saleboter

        Um China has offered to build a pipeline to the west coast of Canada

        • Herman Caintonette

          Let them. Ever been in that part of the Rockies? It will take 15-20 years, which is just about right.

  • James

    If the GOP actually cared about crating jobs, they would helped pass the American Jobs Act, which would have created 1-2 millions jobs as opposed to these 5-10,000 job increments these "job creation" bills which are really nothing more than attempts to deregulate certain industries. Of course, the AJA would have been paid for through taxing millionairs instead of taxing the environment, so it had no chance to get through the GOP.
    http://www.obamaftw.com/blog/economics/obama-jobs

  • Charles

    This is perfect example of how the media misleads people. If you read any of the 27 proposed job bills past the header presented here, you will find, as did 34 economist around the country, that these bills do not create jobs, but are more targeted at reducing regulations, and tax loop holes for corporations. In this day and age of information it's to easy to find the truth, but most want to believe what they hear and read, without using common sense and check things out for themselves.

  • Jmatsby

    So the GOP jobs plan is basically deregulate, drill baby drill, deregulate, and promote anti-union states, oh and did I mention deregulate? I’d like to see som CBO numbers on how many jobs this actually creates, how it actually stimulates the economy and creates demand.

  • Herman Caintonette

    We should get rid of the bad ones, if they really are producing no benefit. But gutting the EPA is insanity, and won't create a single job.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Which is why we should bite the bullet and go green. Solar panels are down to a dollar per watt, http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/so… , which makes them cost-competitive with even our cheapest forms of carbon-based energy. Switchgrass and wood chips can be converted into gasoline for a $2/gal. equivalent cost, and the process produces hydrogen (which means that it would even be cheaper). http://www.sundropfuels.com/presskit/SUNDROP-PRES… . Why we are even bothering with high-cost fuels like that harvested from the Athabasca tar sands is not clear to me.

  • James

    You haven't heard much because the ozone issue was solved through reduction in use of CFCs. Similar to the climate change issue, the problem isn't that human-cause particulates 'outnumber' those spewed by natural effects, it's that they lead to an excess that isn't being reabsorbed in the same cycle.
    http://www.climateliars.com/