Making assumptions that are not at all guaranteed (like a 150 percent increase in nuclear-power generation by 2050), the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the Lieberman-Warner bill would result in annual reductions of U.S. gross domestic product ranging from $238 billion to $983 billion in 2030, and from roughly $1 trillion to more than $2.8 trillion in 2050. Gas prices would grow by $0.53 per gallon in 2030 to $1.40 per gallon in 2050; and electricity prices are projected to increase 44 percent in 2030 and 26 percent in 2050. You won't find reports on CNN explaining this.
No, numbers like this won't flow easily from liberal-media outlets because they undermine the argument. Instead there will be fluff, fluff and more fluff. On PBS's "NewsHour" on June 2, anchorman Ray Suarez interviewed Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Lamar Alexander. He began with a giddy sentence: "The most significant legislative effort so far to tackle climate change began winding its way through Congress today."
Suarez asked Lieberman an opening softball: "How would your bill achieve near-term reductions in emissions and drastic cuts over the long haul?" Lieberman answered, predictably, that it would happen through a "market-based system." Suarez then turned to the Republican senator and applied pressure: "The words 'market' and 'marketplace' are usually music to Republicans' ears. Do you think it will work?"
Alexander threw EPA numbers at the PBS anchor: "The first problem is, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has analyzed it, it's a 53-cent gas tax increase per gallon on top of the nearly $4 we're paying today. Second problem with it is the 53 percent gas tax increase per gallon, according to the EPA, isn't enough of an increase to make much difference. And so it wouldn't reduce carbon. So it wouldn't reduce what it's said it would do." For his part, Lieberman laughably replied: "This Climate Security Act is probably the one best way to reduce the cost of gasoline or other energy in the years ahead."
Suarez, like most anchors, presumed this monstrous bill needs to be passed, by next year, if not this year. But Alexander underlined the crucial question the media will try to ignore: If created, how much will this massive government bureaucracy reduce the average global temperature?
Climatologist Patrick Michaels thinks it would have virtually no effect on the climate, an additional 0.013 degrees (Celsius) of "prevented" warming. That's another little bitty fact that will never see the light of day on most press reports. Instead what we'll get is the usual hot air, except this time it has the price tag of 660 hurricanes.