You might have missed the four full-day hearings in the House Energy Committee Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, chaired by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (no I haven’t read all of the bill yet, that is what Congressional staffers are for). The fourth day of hearings showcased some big hitters. Most notably, the VP Gore panel (who has read the complete bill) is worth your time, the Former Speaker Gingrich panel is a combination of less interesting, less informative and more annoying (except for Rep. Waxman’s impressive Gingrich takedown in the first 30 minutes) and probably isn’t worth your time. The PM panel is also worth your time if you are interested in smaller-bore technocratic issues ranging from building codes to unions to home building to fuel economy these three hours are for you.
If you have four days to listen to the testimony, or a few minutes to read the prepared testimony, check out all four days worth of testimony:
- The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, Day 1
- The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, Day 2
- The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, Day 3
- The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, Day 4
Onto analysis. There is an interesting MIT analysis (full report: MIT Joint Program on the
Science and Policy of Global Change) of the of seven climate-change bills now being considered by Congress:
Under the more stringent bills, the estimated cost of meeting the target could be a 1.5 to 2 percent decline in the average economic well-being of US consumers. The price of traded allowances would be between $30 and $55 per ton of carbon dioxide (and other GHGs) in 2015, rising to as much as $200 by 2050 (in constant dollars). Allowances could be distributed for free, or they could be auctioned, with the resulting government revenue—some $100 to $500 billion—recycled back into the economy in some way.
Based on my original Residential Cost of Cap-and-Trade research, an average carbon footprint (from electrical use) of 1,266.3 pounds of CO2 per annum. Therefore, using MIT’s numbers (which are better than mine – they go to MIT after all) which assuming a 100% energy cost pass-through, the average household would pay an additional $18.99 to $34.82 per year, or 2.5 to 9.5 cents per day.
The Environmental Protection Agency also released an analysis of the Waxman-Markey Discussion Draft. Read the Executive Summary or if you have more time the EPA Preliminary Analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. In summary, the EPA found that the ACES will:
- Advance energy efficiency and reduce reliance on oil;
- Stimulate innovation in clean coal technology to ensure that coal remains an important part of the U.S. energy portfolio by capturing harmful greenhouse gas emissions before they enter the atmosphere;
- Accelerate the use of renewable sources of energy, including biomass, wind, solar, and geothermal;
- Create strong demand for a domestic manufacturing market for these next generation technologies that will enable American workers to serve in a central role in our clean energy transformation; and
- Play a critical role in the American economic recovery and job growth
Also the Union of Concerned Scientists has released a study/plan: Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy which takes an integrated view, with their blueprint cuts carbon emissions and saves money:
Blueprint policies stimulate significant consumer, business, and government investment in new technologies and measures by 2030. The resulting energy bill savings from reductions in electricity and fuel use more than offset the additional energy investment costs, producing net consumer savings on energy for households, vehicle owners, businesses, and industries.
In their report, following their blueprint, I would save $1,120 through a combination of higher efficiencies and the effects of the trading monies coming back into the economy. My guess is that typical New Yorkers will see less of a direct savings because most of us don’t use cars and our net carbon use is already low. Where we will see savings is through money coming in from the sale of CO2 funding mass transit and lower taxes.
It is clear that Cap-and-Trade is merely one component of a larger series of regulations, incentives and standards which will help lower our carbon emissions.