First-term congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) believes that President Obama’s energy reform policy means that Obama “has declared war on Ohio and Indiana.” Latta, who won his seat with the support of $34,250 in oil and gas money, claimed that setting standards for global warming pollution is tantamount to a military invasion of his state:
We could lose manufacturing jobs left and right. It kind of looks like the Obama administration has declared war on Ohio and Indiana. I’m concerned because we’ve got to keep people working. We want to keep people here.
Even using the industry’s own worst-case scenarios for the economic effects of cap and trade legislation, Ohio’s citizens would gain thousands of jobs and enjoy healthy economic growth. In 2007, the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation commissioned a report on the economics of mandatory carbon reductions, using pessimistic assumptions about the flexibility of the economy to use renewable energy and energy efficiency. An analysis by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of NAM/ACCF’s study of cap and trade finds:
— According to the ACCF/NAM “high-cost case,” Ohio’s economy would grow 59%, while carbon emissions would fall by 36%.
— Under the ACCF/NAM high-cost case forecast under a carbon cap program, in 2030 average Ohioans will be about 58 percent richer than in 2007.
— With the increase in state revenues over time, Ohio could reduce the average classroom size in school system by 20 percent, and still increase support for all other state and local services by 54 percent.
— Under the ACCF/NAM high-cost case forecast, 6.31 million people will have jobs in 2030, an 11.8 percent increase.
“This forecast takes no account of the increased job opportunities that will result through investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy,” the PERI authors note. “Clean energy investments produce roughly 3.5 times more jobs per dollar than spending on oil, coal, and natural gas, because they require relatively more spending on people and lesson equipment, and because they require fewer imports.”
These jobs would come from companies like First Solar of Perrysburg, Great Lakes Window of Walbridge, Northwest Ohio Wind Energy of Grover Hill, and American Ag Fuels of Defiance, among many other innovative green-economy manufacturers in Rep. Latta’s district.
The Bush-Cheney pro-pollution economy, by contrast, has been devastating for Ohio: more than 1,087 companies shut down or had mass layoffs, costing 180,264 Ohioans their jobs, even as Ohio was hit by severe droughts in 2002, 2005, and 2007 — as well as 2007’s catastrophic flood.
Perhaps Rep. Latta meant to say that President Obama’s clean energy plan is declaring war on Ohio’s economic struggles.