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January 2012

Reality Check: President Bush Imposed More Regulations Than Obama

ObamainmirrorHere are two sobering truths for anti-regulatory activists who are in a froth these days, trying to bash the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, generally, and pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay, specifically.

I bring these up as debate heats up in the news media over the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s new report, “Debunking the Job Killer Myth: How Pollution Limits Encourage Jobs in the Chesapeake Bay Region.”

In response to the report, Don Parrish, senior director of government relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said: "If regulations created jobs, then the Obama administration would have created an economic tidal wave and we'd have full employment right now. Any time you force people to spend money, the impact new regulations have is going to have a dramatically negative impact on the economy."

Fact One: Despite claims that the Obama Administration has unleashed a “tidal wave” of new regulations, Obama has not introduced an unusual number of new regulations, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News.

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Jobs Report Stirs the Pot

A Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) report released this week is creating a bit of a stir. The report says most environmental regulations don’t kill jobs or slow the economy but, in fact, create jobs and stimulate the economy, especially during recessions.

The CBF report’s conclusions were based on a number of independent academic, economic, and non-profit studies, all leading to the same end: Despite political rhetoric to the contrary, environmental regulations have a documented history of causing no harm to the economy, with job losses often more than offset by jobs created by environmental cleanup and restoration.

Responses to the report have been interesting.

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Stormwater Control Projects Lift Economy and Give Jobs to Unemployed

MG County bumpout under constructionAs traffic rushes past on a road in Montgomery County, Maryland, three men work in ditch, one swinging a sledge hammer and the other two holding a white plastic pipe that the first man pounds into the ground.

The workers are building a stormwater pollution control device called a “bump out.” It’s a cutting-edge technique: a grassy area built by the side of the road, with openings at either end to catch and filter rainwater as it flows down the gutter.

Stormwater ain't a sexy subject.  But it is a critically important one, because runoff from suburban and urban areas is the the fastest growing source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, and the only source of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that has been increasing over the last quarter century, according to the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program.

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Chesapeake News and Events


In the cold winter waters of the Chesapeake, some Virginian watermen are becoming the ‘ghost-busters’ of the 21st Century as they use advanced sonar to find old crab pots left on the Bay’s bottom and remove them.  These ‘ghost pots’ are old gear that lost their buoys and could not be retrieved by their owners, but still do a good job of catching crabs along with other Bay creatures.  Unfortunately, with no one checking these pots, the captured animals are left to perish in the deep. 

In other news...

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Report Debunks Environmental "Job Killer" Myth

Scrubber with Melissa SampsonA new report dismantles claims that environmental regulations are “job killers,” and describes how new pollution limits for the nation’s largest estuary could create about 240,000 jobs across the region in sewage plant improvements and the construction of stormwater pollution control systems.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation report, “Debunking the ‘Job Killer’ Myth: How Pollution Limits Encourage Jobs in the Chesapeake Bay Region,” uses federal employment data and the published conclusions of respected economists to rip a hole in an argument against new Bay pollution limits (the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load).

One example from the report that was mentioned during the press conference this morning at the Brandon Shores power plant in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, involved a nearly $1 billion air pollution control device called a scrubber (pictured above).  

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