When the United Nation’s conference on global warming begins in Paris come December, American Action Forum has a friendly reminder: we already regulate greenhouse gases and the Obama administration’s regulatory cost in fighting so-called climate change could cost us $45 billion annually:
…[R]egulators have already imposed $26 billion in annual costs to limit GHGs and have proposed an additional $1.7 billion. However, to meet President Obama’s climate goals the nation will have to spend up to $45 billion more each year by 2025.
What are the benefits of these investments? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, previous actions will avert a combined 0.0573 degrees Celsius of warming. Meeting the president’s 2025 goals could add reductions up to 0.125 degree Celsius. In other words, full achievement of the president’s climate goals will cost more than $73 billion in annual burdens to alleviate less than two-tenths of one degree of warming.
Of course, the president’s Clean Power Plan is factored into all of this, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Already we have studies showing that it will disproportionately impact fixed-income seniors, and most of rural America. Moreover, everyone knows it will increase energy costs. Secretary of State John Kerry is working to make sure the U.S. leaves Paris with something that isn’t a treaty since there’s a slim chance of getting it through a Republican Congress. The administration’s Clean Power Plan already has over half the states opposing it. Both Democratic and Republican attorneys general have joined a lawsuit against the president’s agenda. As of now, states have until September 6, 2016 to submit their blueprints that balances their energy needs with CPP’s goals. Those who fail to submit one will have a federal plan imposed until a state-centered strategy is drafted. Like Obamacare, we have another serious policy fight ahead, one that isn’t being discussed much on the 2016 campaign trail.