NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 25, 2008

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have each released new reports showing global warming legislation would inflict serious economic punishment on American consumers.

The EPA analyzed three bills that would cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions:

  • The least restrictive, sponsored by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Arlen Specter (R-Penn.), would require trimming U.S. emissions by less than 4 percent by the year 2050.
  • A more stringent bill, by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), would require reductions in U.S. emissions of nearly 16 percent by 2050.
  • One of the most restrictive bills, introduced by Lieberman and John Warner (R-Va.), would force businesses and consumers to cut their emissions 44 percent by 2050.

According to the EPA and CBO, each of these bills would substantially raise energy prices and reduce economic growth:

  • Importantly, the EPA assumed in its estimates a near-tripling of nuclear power generation; without the dramatic rise in nuclear power forecast by the EPA, each legislative proposal would be far more costly than EPA estimates.
  • The EPA estimated the Lieberman-Warner bill would increase gas prices .53 cents per gallon by 2030 and $1.40 per gallon by 2050.
  • The EPA found that by 2050 the Bingaman-Specter bill could cost the United States as much as $1.2 trillion annually (in 2005 dollars) from lost economic production.
  • Lieberman-McCain could cost as much as $1.3 trillion annually, and Lieberman-Warner could cost nearly $3 trillion per year.

The CBO study confirmed greenhouse gas legislation would inflict its most devastating economic consequences on the poorest U.S. citizens: Cutting carbon dioxide emissions by merely 15 percent would reduce the disposable income of the poor by an additional 3.3 percent, compared to a 1.7 percent drop for the richest Americans.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett, "EPA, CBO Document the High Costs of Proposed Global Warming Legislation," Heartland Institute," July 1, 2008.

For CBO study:


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