The Heritage Foundation's senior policy analyst for energy and environment, Ben Lieberman, has produced a stellar paper on these questions -- reproduced from his remarks at The Heartland Institute's Third International Conference on Climate Change on June 2.
Let me share a few of the highlights and encourage you to read the rest of his report -- and others like it -- online.
Based on available evidence and analysis, Lieberman concludes "that both the seriousness and imminence of anthropogenic global warming has been overstated." But even if we assume the problem is as bad as the hysterics claim, the proposed bill "would have a trivial impact on future concentrations of greenhouse gases. … (It) would reduce the earth's future temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 degree C by 2100, an amount too small to even notice." The bill would bind only the U.S., not other nations, many of which, like China, are "polluting" at a record pace. Also note that many European nations that have already imposed similar emissions restrictions have seen their emissions rise.
But what would the costs be for this quixotic legislative paean to earth goddess Gaia? Contrary to the flawed analyses being advanced by the bill's proponents, Heritage estimates that the direct costs would be an average of $829 per year for a household of four, totaling $20,000 between 2012 and 2035. But when considering the total cost as reflected in the cost of allocations and offsets, the average cost to that family unit would be $2,979 annually from 2012 to 2035. Adding insult and hypocrisy to injury, the bill would hurt the poor the worst because they would bear a disproportionate burden of the higher energy costs the bill would trigger.
Now here's the kicker. The bill is also projected to harm the manufacturing sector and cause estimated "net" job losses, averaging about 1.15 million between 2012 and 2030. The overall gross domestic product losses would average $393 billion per year from 2012 to 2035, and the cumulative loss in gross domestic product would be $9.4 trillion by 2035. The national debt for a family of four would increase by $115,000 by 2035.
Enough already. Throw the bums out.