As Obama prepares to unveil his latest plan to create jobs, one thing you probably won’t hear from him Thursday night is how he plans to get rid of environmental regulations that impede construction projects.
In Los Angeles, the Anshutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has begun preparations to build a stadium next door to the Staples Center. The construction project, a $1.3 billion endeavor, would create hundreds if not thousands of jobs in Los Angeles County which is dealing with a 13.3 percent unemployment rate as of this past July.
One problem with the project is that environmental regulations are standing in the way of the construction project moving forward.
Currently, AEG is lobbying the California legislature to receive a pass from being sued on environmental grounds. Without the exemption from being sued by environmental groups throughout the construction project, AEG has said they will discontinue any plans with moving forward on the building of the new stadium.
If that’s not a way to kill job growth I don’t know what is.
Those unfamiliar with the neighborhood where the proposed project is should know that it is an already developed piece of land. The only animals that will be impacted by this project are the rats that roam the streets. It’s not like this was a pristine pond surrounded by a lush field that was home to rare endangered species. This is cement-covered land that has been developed longer than there have been environmental impact regulations.
The example of the regulations applying to this stadium project in California is what people all around America are dealing with. Bureaucratic red-tape put in place by environmental zealots holds back job creation. While laws that were intended to protect beautiful landscapes seem nice on paper, realistic projects that actually improve the land cannot move forward. The only thing being preserved by these laws is job destruction.
Imagine all of the commerce that will not happen if the environmental groups are allowed to tie AEG’s hands with lawsuits. Just think of all the jobs that would be created by the stadium if it were to house an NFL team. Think of the amount of jobs created outside of the stadium for local bars and restaurants for people that go down to the game. All of this job creation is halted so that a rat is not pushed out of its pavement habitat.
Obama should be considering all of the jobs that are never created by these types of harmful regulations. If he is truly serious about job creation, then his plan should involve rolling back regulations, not just spending public money to put people to work temporarily.
Jobs will not create themselves. Private sector job creators need to have the freedom to act in their best interests reaping the rewards if they choose wisely, and bearing the consequences if they do not. What people on both sides of the political aisle often don’t seem to understand is that government should neither be aiding nor impeding these firms one way or another — the government just needs to step back and let the market handle itself.
As Obama stands before Congress and announces that he wants to spend another $300 billion on infrastructure improvements in the hopes that new employment will result, remember the proposed NFL stadium in Los Angeles. Because in America, the new slogan seems to be, “if you build it and they will sue.”
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