The U.S. EPA has released its economic analysis of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008, concluding that implementing the bill, which includes a carbon cap-and-trade system, would not significantly harm the U.S. economy over the next 20 years. The agency estimated the bill would likely cut U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions 11 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and about 56 percent below by 2050. The EPA also forecast that the U.S. gross domestic product would grow by some 80 percent between 2010 and 2030 under the bill — only 1 percent below what it would otherwise have been. Critics of climate legislation will likely seize on the EPA’s forecast that the Lieberman-Warner bill could increase electricity prices some 44 percent by 2030 and may increase gasoline prices by 53 cents a gallon by 2030. However, environmentalists interpreted the report as confirmation that climate bills can coexist with economic growth, and also stressed that the EPA analysis didn’t calculate the economic benefits of reducing emissions.
Get Grist in your inbox