Photo: Gage SkidmoreCross-posted from Climate Progress.
If Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann can’t abolish the Environmental Protection Agency like she promised in June, she may just try to lock employees out of the building.
Speaking at campaign rally in Iowa last week, Bachmann made it clear that she’ll do anything it takes to stamp out environmental protection efforts — even if that means padlocking the front door and switching off the breakers, according to a report from the Des Moines Register:
“I pledge to you I’m not a talker. I’m a doer,” she said …
“And I guarantee you the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) will have doors locked and lights turned off and they will only be about conservation,” she said earlier today at a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids. “It will be a new day and a new sheriff in Washington, D.C.”
Republicans have made anti-EPA statements a major part of their campaigns, with Bachmann making some of the most inflammatory remarks. In June, she famously called for “the mother of all repeal bills” focused on the EPA, which she renamed “the job killing organization of America.”
Republican House leaders are also ratcheting up pressure on EPA regulations. Last week, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton called on President Obama to stop new EPA regulations on mercury and air toxics, calling them a “regulatory train wreck.”
The EPA is a convenient bogey man for Republican leaders when it comes to their messaging on jobs. But what they don’t mention is that new regulations will be phased in over a three-year period of time, giving most power companies enough time to meet standards. This has nothing to do with today’s economic issues. And over the next five years, the number of jobs created through retrofitting power plants with pollution controls could be in the tens of thousands, with virtually no impact on nationwide rates, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration projections.
Over the 40-year history of the EPA, there’s simply no evidence of the kind of mass murdering of jobs that politicians claim. In fact, since the agency was created in the early 1970’s, GDP has grown by 200 percent and common pollutants have dropped by 63 percent. But the facts don’t seem to matter when it comes to environmental issues this campaign season.
At least Bachmann’s plan to shut off all the lights at the EPA will conserve energy.