NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


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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