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Environmental Group Says Saving The Bay Will Bring Jobs

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Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Fighting off claims that environmental regulations are job killers, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says it has facts that prove just the opposite.

Alex DeMetrick reports the group claims saving the bay will put hundreds of thousands to work.

When Republicans claimed Congress, new members like Maryland’s Andy Harris had the party’s talking points ready.

“It’s job killing. Obamacare is job killing,” Harris said.

Republicans have since broadened job killing to environmental regulations, like the ones the Obama administration enacted to clean the Chesapeake.

“We finally have a state-federal partnership to restore the Chesapeake Bay and it’s being attacked as a job killer, so we wanted to debunk that myth,” said Will Baker, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Debunking meant combing all the bay states’ records into a single report on regulations and job growth. The findings: 98,000 people worked environmental cleanup or monitoring jobs in 2008. That number climbed to 140,000 by 2009. And it’s projected 178,000 new jobs within five years, just in sewage and stormwater control alone.

“The lobbyists who are fighting the Chesapeake Bay plan keep crying wolf,” Baker said.

To drive the point home, the study was released in the shadow of Constellation Energy’s coal-fired power plant at Brandon Shores. State law forced it to reduce air pollution, a job that employed 1,400 construction workers and created 32 new, full-time jobs.

“And indeed there are more people employed here now then there were before the project was undertaken. That’s all to the good,” said Constellation Energy Vice President Paul Allen.

As is cleaner air.

While it initially opposed the state regulation in favor of other options, Constellation Energy made almost $900 million in improvements, which the company says were not passed on to rate-payers.

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