LANSING, MI (January 25, 2012) — Michigan labor and environmental organizations representing an estimated 450,000 Michiganders today stood together to reject attempts to weaken the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Citing the importance of these protections to job creation and public health, representatives from the Michigan AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers (USW), Michigan American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Sierra Club highlighted several resolutions passed by labor organizations and local unions throughout the state in support of EPA’s authority to protect public health and the environment under the Clean Air Act.
“The U.S. must be positioned to lead in the global economy of the 21st century,” said Michael Bolton, Director, USW District 2. “These regulations are not job killers, rather they drive economic growth by creating jobs.”
Analysis ofestimates of major federal regulations from 2000 to 2010 show benefits exceeding the costs by at least $70 billion.
“Our children deserve to be left a strong economic and environmental foundation to build their futures on,” said David Hecker, President, American Federation of Teachers Michigan. “Reducing carbon pollution in our air will ensure they will have that foundation.”
EPA regulations have a proven impact on air pollution, curbing air pollutants by 63 percent from 1970 to 2009. During that same period, private sector jobs grew by 86 percent.
“Regulation opponents cite costs to industry with no of the effect pollution has on public health costs, our environment or the well-being of our children and families,” said Karla Swift, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Weakening safeguards means surrendering our economic future and losing out on millions of good jobs.”
A focus on manufacturing jobs and environmental regulations together will create even more jobs. Michigan’s 76,941 clean economy jobs make up 1.9 percent of all jobs in the state.
“Regulating greenhouse gasses means a cleaner environment, healthier communities and growing good jobs,” said Ann Woiwode, Director of the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club. “These policies will help move our country forward to a clean energy future.”