NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Alarming Cost of Climate Change Hysteria

September 9, 2011

Climate change spending won't slow any time soon, says Larry Bell, a professor at the University of Houston.  

Indeed, there are several indications of substantial spending increases on climate change:

  • According to the Government Accountability Office, annual federal climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010, amounting to $106.7 billion over that period.
  • Technology spending, the largest category, grew from $2.56 billion to $5.5 billion over this period.
  • An addition $79 billion was spent for climate change technology research, foreign aid and tax breaks for "green energy."
  • Subsidies intended to encourage greenhouse gas emission reductions accounted for $7.2 billion in federal revenue losses during 2010 alone.

Additionally, the Small Business Administration estimates that compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations costs the U.S. economy more than $1.75 trillion per year, though the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that the annual cost is closer to $1.8 trillion when an estimated $55.4 billion regulatory administration and policing budget is included.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the proposed 70 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions will have negative economic consequences as well, including:

  • A rise in gasoline prices of 77 percent over baseline projections.
  • The loss of more than 3 million jobs.
  • A reduction in the average household income by more than $4,000 each year.

In addition to costing hundreds of billions of dollars, these policies are in place at a time when our gross national deficit following a ceiling rise exceeds the size of our gross domestic product, and the U.S. credit rating has been devalued for the first time in history.

Source: Larry Bell, "The Alarming Cost Of Climate Change Hysteria," Forbes, August 23, 2011.

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