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Costing Out Cap-and-Trade

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office issued a cost estimate for H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The bill would establish not one, but two “cap-and-trade” programs designed to limit the release of undesirable gasses into the atmosphere.

“Cap-and-trade” is when the government limits (“caps”) the emissions of greenhouse gasses and hydrofluorocarbons then issues tradeable credits for emissions. The idea is to force industries to find the most efficient ways they can to reduce these gasses and improve the environment.

But cap-and-trade don’t come cheap. The estimated cost of the bill is about $12,000 per U.S. family. It’s the most costly bill in the current Congress, just like a similar bill was in the last Congress.

(The cost figures we use here are known as “net present value.” That’s the amount you would have to put in the bank today to fund future spending. The CBO estimate includes ten years of spending and tax colletions. There’s more about our cost reporting on our “about” page.)

So if you want to reduce greenhouse gasses, be prepared to pay the price. To some it may be worth it, to others it may not be. Where do you come down on it?

Below is the current vote on H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article about the bill.

Visitor Comments for Costing Out Cap-and-Trade RSS 2.0

Laurence Socci

So I guess this tax will only go to those making over $250,000; after all, the current occupant of the White House promised that those were the only folks to get their taxes raised. Wait! You mean he lied?!?! No!!!

Pat Hammond

Being new to WashingtonWatch.com I want to know if those costs that are posted for things such as the Cao-and-Trade Bill are per year or some other time period?

Jim Harper

As I wrote above, these figures are “net present value.” That’s the amount you’d have to put in the bank today to fund future spending. The CBO estimate used to produce the cost estimate for this bill goes out 10 years.

Suzanne Gerard

Seems that it would work better if it were cap and —— well, cap! Cap and trade is like being able to sell stolen goods provided the purchaser has bought below his sto;en goods quota for the year.

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Artful Dodger

No way this estimate of cost is accurate. Doesn’t count the number of jobs lost, industries lost, or factories closed, all because of fad science that shows an average 1 degree C increase in temperature over the next 60 years due to anthropogenic causes – and that science is based on flawed models and assumptive reasoning. Is it worth the huge impact? I can’t imagine.

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[...] H.R. 2998 and H.R. 2454 are both called the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.” And they both would cost the average U.S. family a little over $13,000 if they pass. We discussed where these costs come from in a blog post called “Costing Out Cap and Trade.” [...]

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[...] as we noted last year in a post called “Costing Out Cap-and-Trade,” this kind of regulation don’t come cheap. The two major cap-and-trade bills are H.R. [...]

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[...] there might be climate change legislation. We’ve written about cap and trade a few times. Leading bills include H.R. 2998 and H.R. 2454, both called the ÔÇťAmerican Clean Energy and [...]

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