2017-06-07 / Opinions

No reason to turn back

One trouble with the national and state obsession with job creation is the excuse it gives to elected officials and companies to ignore everything else.

Workplace safety measures do slow down production in coal mines, chemical plants and construction sites. Do we get rid of them because they cost business owners some profit margin? What if they cry that the regulations are killing jobs?

Clean Water rules limit where factories can pump their manufacturing waste, and where they can build their plants. Do we get rid of those rules because the plant owners feel their money is wasted on protecting water quality? What if they cry that the rules are costing us jobs?

Vehicle emissions standards make car manufacturing more complicated and costly. Do we let our cars and trucks churn out more gases that pollute the air we breathe because manufacturers need a better bottom line? What if they cry that standards are costing jobs?

America and West Virginia have gone through cycles of job loss so much more extreme that our current period of economic recovery. Talk to someone who grew up in the Depression era, when people desperately wanted to work, but could not. Our citizens starved, families separated and communities died out during those times. Compared to then, America is now in a period of great wealth and comfort. In West Virginia alone, companies say they have jobs that go unfilled because there are not qualified workers to take them.

There is no reason for our progress toward safe workplaces, clean air and water to be tossed out the window now. Not in West Virginia, not in America and not on the global stage. Turning back those protections is a disgrace to workers and citizens who fought for them. Turning them back will not create the jobs we know will sustain our children and grandchildren.

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The argument regards over

The argument regards over regulation is about diminishing returns. Nobody is advocating for less safety or more pollution. With each additional regulatory dollar you derive less impact on improving safety or decreasing waste products. Think of it in terms of heating your house with a heat pump. The cooler the outside air the less efficient the heat pump is in warming your house up that last degree. My point being, looking back to the early 70's our environment and working conditions are greatly improved today. Direct investment in China would have more impact on our environment than turning up regulations here that last degree.

it is already happening with

it is already happening with the curtailment of EPA regulations and reduction by 1/3 the number of EPA field teams to monitor existing industrial operations thus effective oversight is reduced and a cat and mouse game of catch me if you can on running short cuts is now in play. . I lost a job because I refused to do some illegal disposal of unwanted chemicals . even gave boss warning that EPA had installed monitoring devices near where I was being told to dump the product. . I worked near where former Chemical Control blew up during a fire in 1970s and my employment was affected in 1980s

Right on, Kate! Our lawmakers

Right on, Kate! Our lawmakers can't just keep using "jobs" as an excuse for continuing our state's role as a sacrifice zone for out of state gas and coal companies.