EPA regulation of utilities will be going nowhere if Obama has his way.
At a public Q&A session with LinkedIn members, hosted by the company in California, the President was adamant that regulation of energy companies and utilities was important, including pollution control, as part of consumer safety and environmental protection.
There are “some regulations that have outlived their usefulness,” Obama told the audience and one should “always take costs as well as benefits into account” when proposing new regulation, but regulation of utilities and companies that are potentially harming the public health are valuable to the country, he said.
“I will never apologize for making sure we have regulations in place,” he said. “We don’t want to be rewarding people who are gaming the system.”
A controversial bill was passed from the House of Representatives to the Senate last wee, which would open EPA regulations to more-detailed Congressional review based on economic impacts. It was introduced in part because of growing concern among mostly Republican politicians that regulations are hurting businesses and their ability to hire new workers. Read more: House Approves EPA Oversight Bill.
Audience questions largely focused on unemployment and many noted that they were, or had recently been, unemployed. Obama emphasized that the American economy is hurting in part because the global economy is struggling. Volatile oil prices in particular, which he linked to the Arab Spring, have jostled the global economy in recent months, he said.
Obama said he hopes to solve America’s economic troubles with the Jobs Act and by “making sure we have a tax code that’s fair.”
The takeaway for the industry: regulation and taxation of energy companies is going nowhere any time soon. For energy workers: hopefully, soon, a job will appear.