Hillary Clinton’s Choices: Hard or Harmful?

Katherine Rosario Communications Deputy, Heritage Action
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Hillary Clinton sparked questions about her potential presidential run this week when she made a stop at Denver’s Intertech Plastics Inc. — a visit that looked everything like a campaign stop without it officially being one. The manufacturing company gave the former secretary of state a welcome reception and blogged about her in glowing terms, calling her “a true supporter of the people.”

But the irony of her visit to a manufacturing firm like Intertech Plastics was not lost on conservatives, since it happened to be the same day federal regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced carbon-dioxide regulations that would seriously hurt businesses just like Intertech Plastics.

While there, Clinton toured the plastics molding factory for an hour, spent another hour in a conference room, and emitted a climate change inducing chemical compound, carbon dioxide, as she discussed the need to recruit young people to jobs in scientific and technological industries, a task that would be far easier if her ideological ilk were not so eager to foist math standards via Common Core on students that set them two grade levels behind their international peers.

Clinton took no questions from reporters at Intertech Plastics, but the timing of her visit still spoke volumes — and not just with regard to her probable presidential campaign or her forthcoming memoir Hard Choices.

If Clinton and her ideological allies at the EPA are truly interested in supporting middle-class, blue collar Americans and working toward the goal of more young people entering scientific and technological industries, perhaps they should consider not imposing additional EPA regulations that will crush manufacturers.

And crush manufacturers they will. Manufacturing is an energy intensive industry, and as the Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris explains, “higher prices as a result of the regulations will squeeze both production and consumption.” The manufacturing industry will suffer a loss of an average 770 jobs per congressional district as a result of the new EPA regulations. “In just one year (2033), Environmental Protection Agency regulations would eliminate 336,000 manufacturing jobs around the U.S.”

Imposing regulations that will result in an average of 336,000 fewer jobs in one year isn’t the conservative definition of being a “supporter of the people,” but reasonable minds can differ. Perhaps Hillary and her clan are supporting people by making sure the climate does what they want it to do?

Again, thanks but no thanks.

The fact is, as the Loris explains, “The regulations would not have any noticeable impact on global temperatures.” The poorest Americans will feel a noticeable impact, however. “Since low-income families spend a larger proportion of their income on energy, a tax that increases energy prices would disproportionately affect the budgets of the poorest American families,” says Loris.

In April, the National Journal reported that this September, Clinton “will give the keystone address at the big annual green-energy conference that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hosts in Las Vegas.” They noted that “her remarks will be closely picked over for hints about where the potential president might go on energy and climate.”

But let’s be real. We don’t need to wait for September to guess how she’d “lead” on energy issues as president. “I’m hoping there will be this mass movement that demands political change, that makes what public officials do on dealing with carbon emissions … a voting issue,” Clinton told a group of college students in March during a forum at the Clinton Global Initiative University.

In life there are tradeoffs. Hillary is willing to trade hundreds of thousands of American jobs, harming manufacturers like the folks at Intertech Plastics, and crippling America’s poorest people with higher energy bills in exchange for moderating the Earth’s temperature by a few tenths of a degree by the end of the century.

It’s a hard choice.