“The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear”, said President Obama, speaking definitively on the issue of climate change, as he usually does with other issues he wants passed. But politicians have always had an agenda and have always presented the “facts” to prove their point The only thing that is beyond dispute is that the American Clean Energy and Security Act is a generational bill. It will not only affect us and our sons and daughters but generations after them.
Leading consulting firm CRA International released a study with the Center of Data Analysis at Heritage, projecting that by 2030, Waxman-Markey would reduce GDP by roughly $350 billion below the baseline level, cut net employment by 2.5 million jobs (even after accounting for new "green" jobs), and reduce an average household's annual purchasing power by $830.
A New York Times editorial said that Henry Waxman of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, the politicians who have proposed this bill, have insisted on provisions that would mandate more efficient buildings, require cleaner energy sources like wind power and provide subsidies for new technologies.
However, with only the United States looking to pass this legislation, there is little evidence that countries such as China and India will be on board. David Kreutzer, senior policy analyst with Energy Economics and Climate Change, says that countries such as China and India will not let economic development suffer by imposing such a law on its citizenry. Also, there is little evidence that scientists, at large, are supporting this bill. There are over 31,478 American scientists, including 9,029 PhDs that have signed the global warming petition saying that there is no evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating to Earth's atmosphere and adversely affect its climate.
Moreover, the question that begs to be asked is who is going to pay? Ben Lieberman, a specialist in energy and environmental issues, is a Senior Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy, says that green technology costs more than the benefits it will bring in the future, and the people bearing these costs will be ordinary citizens.
The economic impact of this bill will damage growth. Here are a few things that we might want to consider. It will:
- Reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $9.4 trillion;
- Destroy 1,145,000 jobs on average, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 2,479,000 jobs;
- Raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation;
- Raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 58 percent;
- Raise residential natural gas prices by 55 percent;
- Raise an average family's annual energy bill by $1,241; and
- Result in an increase of $28,728 in additional federal debt per person, again after adjusting for inflation.