Construction Unions Side against EPA Emissions Rules

Date: February 25, 2010

Source: News Room

Republicans in Congress opposed to the EPA's measures to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act have an unlikely ally in a top labor leader. Mark Ayers, head of the Building and Construction Trades Department under the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) said in a Jan. 27 letter to the White House that his unions fear those rules could have "severe negative consequences," particularly to job growth. Unions under his leadership include 1.5 million members in the U.S., with more than a dozen unions representing iron-workers, electrical workers, pipe-fitters, plumbers, and boilermakers. Ayers's building and construction unions supported climate legislation in Congress but more recently warned that "overly aggressive action in the absence of effective, economical pollution control technology could result in unintended consequences that hinder employment growth necessary for a full economic recovery."

Several states, more than a dozen federal lawmakers and a number of energy companies are challenging an EPA decision to declare GHGs as harmful to human health in order to regulate them.

Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin