The Benefits Of Waxman-Markey

Posted on Thu 05/14/2009 by

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By Conn Carroll

waxman_markey090513Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. There are no benefits for the American people in the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill. Whenever defenders of the free market point out how much an energy tax will cost the economy, the enviro-left always tries to change the subject to “the cost of inaction.” But here is the dirty little secret about Waxman-Markey: it does nothing to prevent global warming/climate change whatever you want to call it. And that is before House Democrats gutted the bill.

Climatologist Chip Knappenberger crunched the numbers and found:

A full implementation and adherence to the long-run emissions restrictions provisions described by the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill would result only in setting back the projected rise in global temperatures by a few years—a scientifically meaningless prospect.

And what about the gutted version that Waxman is now trying to force through committee? Even less. Knappenberger again:

By the year 2050, the “clean” version reduces projected global temperatures by 0.044ºC (or ~3% less than the rise without the legislation), the “dirty” version gets you about half of that, or 0.022ºC (~1.5% less), and the “dirtier” version saves half of that again, or 0.011ºC (<1% less). By century’s end, you don’t do much better–the temperature reduction amounts to, respectively, 0.112ºC (0.20ºF), 0.046ºC (0.08ºF), and 0.013ºC (0.02ºF).

The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis has not scored the economic cost of wither “dirty” or “dirtier” versions of the Waxman-Markey legislation. But they did score the “clean” version and found it would reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $7.4 trillion by 2035 and destroy 844,000 jobs annually. On what planet is that worth 0.044ºC lower global temperatures?

Conn Carroll is an editor at The Heritage Foundation.

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