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Job Loss Costs

On Feb. 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and allocated $787 billion in Federal funds to spur economic activity and create jobs in America. Yet current Federal ocean dumping practices forfeit the creation of dynamic green jobs, in stark contrast to ARRA’s intentions of job creation and economic growth.

While ocean disposal simply transfers waste to its final resting place, recycling gives new life to salvageable materials while also creating new job opportunities. Furthermore, recycling has the ability to create jobs including downstream trade jobs many times over when material is reconstituted for use a third and fourth time round etc.

The Ex-SAIPAN, a 27,000-ton, Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship launched in 1974, is currently being recycled in Brownsville, Texas. The project will last approximately one year, and will employ 250 people throughout the dismantling process.129 This single vessel will generate millions of dollars of economic growth and will stimulate the local economy. This recycled material will then be sold and reused to manufacture new products, generating more jobs in fabrication, transport and resale within one use cycle. This entire process is repeated at the end of a product lifecycle, constantly creating jobs.

Using parametric estimations for warship content by weight, per Table 5 and Appendix B, and the Ex-SAIPAN job creation estimates mentioned above, one can generate a job loss estimate to give context to the labor force impacts from the ocean dumping of naval vessels over the past decade. As a rough approximation, for every 108 tons of material existing within a Combatant class vessel, approximately one U.S. green ship recycling job

http://www.themonitor.com/articles/gets-32824-arrival- navy.html 129

EXTERNALIZED COSTS

is

created.130

When

looking

over

the

past

decade in which the Federal Government has disposed of 674,318 tons of material at sea of which only 9% was actual waste, (613,629 tons

could have

been fully

government

squandered

recycled) the Federal away, at the very least,

6,244

direct

green

recycling

jobs,

each

lasting

approximately one year. For every job lost, 1.2 ‘indirect’ jobs were also jobs) and 1.3 ‘induced’ jobs were

1 recycling lost (7,492 lost (8,117

jobs) in the wider economy,131

adding up to a

total job loss estimate of 21,853 jobs lasting approximately one year. Indirect jobs are those

created

as a

goods

and

result of services

the industry purchasing

from

other

types

of

President Obama and Vice President Biden speak on creating jobs with ARRA funds; however they fail to recognize the many instances where government waste actually eliminates such job opportunities. One example is the dumping of retired Navy vessels at sea rather than recycling to create immediate job relief. In fact, Vice President Biden’s home state of Delaware, along with the neighboring states of New Jersey and Maryland, are preparing the Ex-ARTHUR RADFORD for ocean disposal in Summer 2011. This sinking will send hundreds of jobs to the depths of the sea. Image Source: White House Photo/Pete Souza

130 Author’s calculation per information gathered from industry: Approximately 108 tons (light displacement) = 1 recycling job

131

h t t p : / / w w w . f o e e u r o p e . o r g / p u b l i c a t i o n s / 2 0 1 0 / M o r e _ J o b s _ L e Waste_Sep2010.pdf s s

_

BASEL ACTION NETWORK

43

2011

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