Even though nothing should surprise me any more, I’m still pretty amazed at some of the Republican attacks on the new Waxman-Markey climate change bill (for details, see a report here from Stacy Morford of “Solve Climate”). First of all, the bill doesn’t take effect until 2012, so to cast it as a dire attack on our sputtering economy makes no sense. Everybody expects the economy to have improved by 2012.
Moreover, there appears to be a habit of just making up numbers about how damaging the bill would be. Republicans are saying, in some cases, that it would cost the average family over $ 3000 per year in energy costs–in short, roughly the equivalent of buying a new car. Of course that’s not correct–not even remotely. The EPA estimates that average energy costs would go up between $ 98 and $ 140 per year, and that’s before any rebate gets paid back to citizens, either through a tax cut or by the direct writing of rebate checks. At this point, pretty much everybody expects the final climate legislation to pay the public back with a significant part of the revenues the government earns through the sale of emissions permits; indeed, this will be one key factor in making the bill popular.
In sum, there’s no economic hardship here–and there is vast benefit. But expect the misinformation to continue, in direct relation to how close this bill gets to passage….
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- 5 Sunday Links at Tête-à-Tête-Tête | April 26, 2009