Energy Expert Available for Comment on Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill
Carbon Cap and Trade System Will Collide With U.S. Population Growth and Energy Demands – Leading to Higher Energy Prices, Lost Jobs and Reduced GDP
American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Dr. Margo Thorning is an expert economist on energy and environmental policy. The following is her statement on today’s Senate Environment and Public Works Committee markup of climate change legislation S.2191 introduced by Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and John Warner (R-VA):
“While the goals of Senators Lieberman and Warner to curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are worthy, following the failed policies of Europe will prove costly for U.S. businesses and consumers.
“Put simply, Kyoto Protocol isn’t working. The European Environmental Agency’s latest projections show that without strong new measures, the EU-15’s greenhouse gas emissions will be 7.4 percent above 1990 levels in 2010—not 8 percent below as required by Kyoto. If the major EU countries were to actually meet their emission reduction targets under Kyoto, the economic costs would be high—as much as 3 percent of GDP in 2010, according to economic research firm Global Insight, Inc.
“In the U.S., a fixed cap on carbon emissions as proposed in S. 2191 would inevitably collide with population growth. More people means more energy needed for home heating and cooling, job growth and transportation. Forecasts of baseline covered emissions show emissions growing by 30 percent from 2012 to 2030. Sharp cutbacks in U.S. energy use would be necessary to close the 55 percent gap in 2030 between projected emissions and the S. 2191 target.
“To meet the emission reduction targets in S. 2191, U.S. per capita emissions would have to fall by 50 percent from 2000 to 2030. S. 2191’s required reductions in per capita emissions are about 25 to 35 times greater than what occurred from 1990 to 2000. The technologies simply do not exist to reduce emissions over the next 17 years by the amounts mandated in S .2191 without severely reducing the growth in the U.S. economy and in employment.
“The EU-15 countries are having difficulty meeting their Kyoto targets under negligible population growth. U.S. compliance with the targets in S.2191 with massive population growth will come at a high price in reduced GDP and jobs.
“Energy security and environmental protection go hand in hand with economic growth. To be successful on all fronts, policymakers should pursue international partnerships encouraging investment with profit potential in clean fossil energy, renewable energy and distributed generation and transmission will provide the necessary incentives without mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”