EIA Analysis: A Carbon Cap Will Cut America

August 4, 2009


Tony Kreindler, Environmental Defense Fund, 202-445-8108, tkreindler@edf.org
Sharyn Stein, Environmental Defense Fund, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington – August 4, 2009) A just-released analysis from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the cap on carbon pollution in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) can be achieved for $83 per year per household – or a dime a day per person. One of the reasons for the affordability is that increases on electricity and natural gas bills of consumers are substantially mitigated through 2025 by the allocation of free allowances to regulated electricity and natural gas distribution companies.

“For a dime a day we can solve climate change, invest in a clean energy future, and save billions in imported oil,” said Environmental Defense Fund Director of Economic Policy and Analysis Nat Keohane, PhD.

The EIA analysis considers only the costs of reducing global warming pollution, and does not take into account the many potential benefits of action.

The study also shows that the legislation passed by the House would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The analysis says the U.S. would reduce its consumption of oil by 344 million barrels in the year 2030 alone, under the provisions of the bill. That’s a cut of more than 12 percent of predicted imports for the same year without the bill.

The EIA analysis has similar findings to two other impartial and substantive studies done recently, from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Congressional Budget Office.

“This analysis confirms what every other credible study has found, and it – once again – refutes the widely reported scare tactics about the cost of the cap and trade bill,” Keohane said “Opponents of action will always try to cherry-pick the numbers and use models with biased assumptions. The EPA, EIA and CBO are the non-biased standard for economic analysis.”

A leaked draft of the EIA report, which was covered in some early media stories, contained an error. The average yearly change in consumption per household for the years 2012-2030 is $83 — NOT $142. The correct figure is in the final draft of the EIA analysis, and is the one referred to above.

EIA’s analysis is online at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/hr2454/index.html


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