ANTI-EMISSIONS BILL BEFORE SENATE COULD LEAD TO $8 GAS
June 2, 2008
From higher electric bills to more expensive gasoline, the possible economic cost of tackling global warming will take center stage in the Senate today. The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act requiring a reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries, factories and transportation is set for debate. The goal is to cut heat-trapping CO2 emissions by two-thirds by midcentury.
Depending on who's talking, the bill could either help save the planet or help bankrupt the country.
What the bill would do:
- Cap carbon dioxide emissions at 4 percent below 2005's levels by 2012 and 71 percent by 2050.
- Provide assistance to businesses and consumers hit by the measure.
- Sell credits at auction to businesses that need more carbon dioxide emissions credits, raising as much as $1 trillion.
- Supporters say it is necessary to curb the effects of global warming; the impact to the economy by the end of the century without it could be $3.8 trillion.
- Opponents say it could result in an economic hit of nearly $670 billion, about 1 percent, by 2030.
"We're bankrupting our economy for very little gain" if the legislation passes, said Keith McCoy, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, which strongly opposes the legislation:
- Gas prices could hit $8 a gallon and home electricity bills could rise by 150 percent, the group predicts.
- Texas, Florida and Georgia could be among the hardest-hit states because of their current energy sources and their size.
- The economic hit to Texas could force companies to cut as many as 335,000 jobs to pay for added costs, according to the manufacturers' group; only California would see more job losses, it predicts.
Source: Cox News Service, "Detractors say anti-pollution bill before Senate could lead to $8 gas," Dallas Morning News, June 1, 2008.
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