Dr. Margo Thorning Presentation to Midwest Energy and Climate Policy Conference

Dr. Margo Thorning gives a presentation to the Midwest Energy and Climate Policy Conference in St. Louis.  She presents trends in global energy use and carbon emissions and looks at the macroeconomic impact of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill with respect to changes in GDP, employment, energy prices and annual wages. Thorning takes a specific look at midwest and regional economic impact of the legislation.

Despite the economic impact that the U.S. will suffer under a cap-and-trade system, Thorning notes that any reductions in global CO2 concentrations will be minimal.

Thorning notes that practical strategies for reducing global greenhouse growth would include:

  • Use cost / benefit analysis before adopting policies
  • If U.S. puts a price on carbon emissions, a carbon tax is preferable to cap and trade
  • Reduce cost of U.S. energy investment through tax code improvement and incentives for non profits
  • Remove barriers to developing world’s access to more energy and cleaner technology by promoting economic freedom and market reforms
  • Increase R&D  for new technologies to reduce energy intensity, capture and store carbon, and develop new energy sources
  • Promote nuclear power for electricity
  • Promote truly global solutions and consider expanding the Asia Pacific Partnership on Development with its focus on economic growth and technology transfer to other major emitters
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