There is no consistent evidence that environmental regulations cause long-term changes in overall employment.
In a recent speech, President Donald Trump made reference, as he often does, to regulations that have killed American jobs. This is an oft-used argument on the right — so common, in fact, that it is now taken as a kind of foundational truth, one that is simply self-evident, requiring no evidentiary support. It is one of the conservative economic catechisms (taxes slow growth, rich people create jobs, regulation kills jobs) that’s been repeated so frequently that even mainstream reporters tend to simply assume their truth.
But, at least in the case of the environmental regulations Trump is specifically attacking, it isn’t true. There is no consistent evidence that environmental regulations cause long-term changes in overall employment. And in timely fashion, the Institute for Policy Integrity has a new brief with a clear and succinct explanation why this is so. Let’s walk through it.