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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Game, Set and Match to the Heritage Foundation

The National Resources Defense Council has attempted to undermine the credibility of the Heritage Foundation's analysis on the cost of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade global warming bill.

The NRDC would have done itself a favor to stay home from work that day. Heritage's response to the critique so thoroughly nails the NRDC that all the NRDC has done is give the Heritage study more publicity.

For instance, in the second paragraph of its critique, the NRDC complains that the Heritage Foundation analysis of the cost of the Waxman-markey cap-and-trade bill fails to take into account the "cost of inaction," that is, the cost of the bad stuff that would happen if Waxman-Markey is not adopted.

HEL-LO! Anybody home, NRDC? Waxman-Markey, even in a best-case scenario, would have negligible, if any, impact on the climate. And the Heritage Foundation DID mention this, to whit, in the original study:
The impact of Waxman-Markey on the next generation of families is thousands of dollars per year in higher energy costs, over $100,000 of additional federal debt (above and beyond the unconscionable increases already scheduled), a weaker economy, and more unemployment. And all for a change in world temperature that might not be noticeable [emphasis added].
You don't need to take Heritage's word for it, or mine. Even prominent environmental organizations that agree with the NRDC about the global warming theory say Waxman-Markey would not (to their way of thinking) sufficiently affect the climate.

Optimists are saying Waxman-Markey might (believe me, nobody knows) lower world temperatures by half a degree celsius over 40 years or so.

If spending all that money isn't going to solve the alleged problem, then what's the point of spending the money?

By way of congratulations to Heritage, let's recap Heritage's conclusions...

If Waxman-Markey is adopted, by 2035:
  • The typical family of four will see its direct energy costs rise by over $1,500 per year.

  • Pain at the electric meter causes consumers to reduce electricity consumption by 36 percent. Even with this cutback, the electric bill for a family of four will be $754 more that year and $12,933 more in total from 2012 to 2035.

  • The higher gasoline prices will have forced households to cut consumption by 15 percent, but a family of four will still pay $596 more that year and $8,000 more between 2012 and 2035.

  • In total, for the years 2012-2035, a family of four will see its direct energy costs rise by over $24,000. These inflation-adjusted numbers do not include the indirect energy costs consumers will pay as producers are forced to raise the price of their products to reflect the higher costs of production. Nor does the $24,000 include the higher expenditure for such things as more energy-efficient cars and appliances or the disutility of driving smaller, less safe vehicles or the discomfort of using less heating and cooling.

  • As the economy adjusts to shrinking GDP and rising energy prices, employment takes a big hit. On average, employment is lower by 844,000 jobs. In some years cap and trade reduces employment by more than 1.9 million jobs.

  • The negative economic impacts accumulate, and the national debt is no exception. Waxman-Markey drives up the national debt 29 percent by 2035. This is 29 percent above what it would be without the legislation and represents an additional $33,400 per person, or more than $133,000 for a family of four. To reiterate, these burdens come after adjusting for inflation and are in addition to the $450,000 per family of federal debt that will accrue over this period even without cap and trade.
No wonder the NRDC was so desperate to try to undermine Heritage's credibility.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:20 AM

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