By Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr, Special for USDR
The Presidents’ carbon emissions program was released by the White House to great fanfare. But what will it cost the American economy and the American consumer? How effective will it be in truly reducing pollutants?
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis reports that President Obama’s new carbon program would: “Lower U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $51 billion on average every year through 2030; Lead to 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs on average every year through 2030; Force U.S. consumers to pay $289 billion more for electricity through 2030; Lower total disposable income for U.S. households by $586 billion through 2030.”
What would all that sacrifice gain? According to the Chamber, a mere 1.8% reduction in emissions
The Institute for 21st Century Energy reports similar statistics, indicating that under the White House’s executive action “consumers would pay nearly $290 billion more for electricity between 2014 and 2030.” The Institute notes that “over $50 billion in lost investments every year between now and 2030…U.S. households could lose $585 billion by 2030…electrical costs would increase by $289 billion by 2030…224,000 more people could lose their jobs every year between 2014-2030…increased compliance cost [would be] $480 billion.”.
Clearly, any new restrictions on the U.S. economy, already beset by the world’s highest corporate taxes and an increasingly byzantine regulatory system, would be dealt a severe blow.
On June 16, the governors of Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming asked the White House to consider a more pragmatic environmental course, one that “balances our nation’s economic needs, energy security, and environmental quality objectives…”
The governors stated that “Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that [the Obama Administration’s plan] is content to force Americans to bear these substantial costs where there are highly questionable associated environmental benefits. In fact, [the] EPA Administrator admitted during testimony to the U.S. Senate that there would be no climate mitigation benefits to America pursuing unilateral action. Moreover, in 2008, [President Obama] personally guaranteed that under [his] energy plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket… [the President] rightly acknowledges that American citizens will literally pay the price of your energy agenda. They will also pay the price in the form of lost jobs and less reliable electricity.”
The Presidents’ carbon emissions program has also encountered broad based opposition from scientific, legal, financial, industrial, and consumer interests. Manufacturers and oil refineries would be hit hard. Critics maintain that the technology to comply with the new regulations remains unproven.
International strategic implications would be broad. The U.S. has a vast supply of coal, (Kentucky, for example, fills almost all of its energy needs from coal) and essentially making it unaffordable would render the U.S. and its allies more dependent on international energy supply producers, such as Russia, Venezuela, and Iran that are hostile to the west.
Moscow funds its vast military buildup through its energy sales; taking U.S. coal off line will increase the Kremlin’s profits and provide greater assets to spend on its already massive armed forces. Europe will be more dependent than ever on Putin.
Also Opposing the Presidents’ proposals are numerous scientists who note that their research and findings, (which are contrary to the conclusions espoused by supporters of the human effect on the global temperature theory) have been wholly ignored. They are joined by those concerned that what they describe as faulty or incomplete evidence is being employed to use allegations of human-caused global warming as an excuse to enhance governmental authority, establish a more centralized economy, and enrich special interests.
In light of the severe economic, diplomatic, and national security implications, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) has co-sponsored legislation which would nullify drastic EPA regulations on power production, and prohibit that agency from issuing anything similar unless specifically authorized to do so by Congress.
Frank V.Vernuccio, Jr., J.D. is the editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy & Government usagovpolicy.com, and the author and voice of the Minute Report for America ® syndicated radio feature. He is the co-host of the Vernuccio/Allison Report radio show. He has served in both Republican and Democrat administrations in New York State, including running the Workers Compensation Board in the aftermath of 9/11. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and can be followed on twitter at @FrankVVernuccio.