Over the last few months, we have seen a momentous struggle: climate versus economy. While scientists warn that we must accept the “inconvenient truth” of global warming and cut emissions, whatever the cost is, others are unsure. The economy is certainly not at its most robust right now, and the risk of troubling it further makes voters and representatives hesitate.
Thus, economic impact has been the GOP’s main argument against the Democrats’ plan to cut GHG emissions. This is one of the talking points for the Republican American Energy Act:
The Democrats’ answer to the worst recession in decades is a national energy tax that will lead to higher energy prices and further job losses.
Joe Boehner and and Michelle Bachmann even projected a cost of $3,128 to $4,000 per household (a figure produced through a 10 times inflation from ignoring offsetting credits). But two new reports reveal drastically lower economic impacts.
On June 19th, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report estimating that the average yearly cost of the Waxman-Markey climate bill would be $175 per household, with a increase of $245 for the highest income bracket and $40 savings for the poorest 20%.
A recent EPA analysis estimated that the bill would actually lower household energy costs by 2020:
As a result of energy efficiency measures, consumer spending on utility bills would be roughly 7% lower in 2020 as a result of the legislation.
An entry on Climate Progress puts it well:
We don’t have to just wish we were there — we can have a clean energy economy for the cost of a postcard stamp a day. And the EPA’s analysis does not “take into account the benefits of reducing global warming.”
This news will hopefully smooth the way for the ACES to pass the House this Friday. If you live in the U.S., please consider asking your representative to support the bill. As for the rest of the world, keep your fingers crossed, because American green politics affects you as well.