President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

Here’s a simple test for whether the President is serious about jobs and the economy: Does he rein in the Environmental Protection Agency?

With the debt ceiling issue resolved for the time being, President Obama has stated his intention to “pivot” to focus on jobs and the economy. Economic growth is stagnant, and unemployment is at unacceptable levels—and that’s not even including millions of discouraged people who have dropped out of the workforce altogether. Jobs and economic growth are the right focus.

But there is, understandably, some skepticism that the President is serious. After all, depending on how you count it, he’s pivoted to jobs five to 10 times since taking office, and each time his attention seems to have wavered.

Well, it’s not for nothing that Representative Michele Bachmann (R–MN) called EPA the “Job-Killing Organization of America.” And the Obama EPA has released and has in its pipeline a series of super-expensive regulations that threaten economic havoc:

EPA has many more regulations in the works, but these illustrate the point: forcing businesses to waste tens or hundreds of billions of dollars per year on environmental upgrades of dubious value means that money isn’t available to invest in business expansions or create jobs. Higher costs also cut down on business investment—a factory that makes economic sense at a cost of $10 million may not when EPA regulations have jacked the cost up to $30 million.

So the test for the President is simple: Does he side with the regulators and environmentalists or with the American people, who are worried about jobs and the economy? We will know the answer soon. The ozone standards and Boiler MACT rule could go forward at any time, and Utility MACT is due in just a few months.

The President insists he’s serious this time. Let’s hope so.