Waxman-Markey costly, ineffective

The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation that is working its way through Congress is ineffective in its stated goal, and will harm the American economy.

The goal of this bill is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, thereby reducing the threat of global warming. The amount of temperature reduction Waxman-Markey might produce is a matter of dispute, but most sources cite a decrease so small that it will be difficult to measure it. Its effect could easily be overwhelmed by something else over which we have no control.

As bad as this is, the economic effects of this bill are certain, and they are devastating. The Science Applications International Corporation, at the request of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), has produced an analysis of the effects of this legislation on the United States as a whole, and on each state. The reports may be read by clicking on Economic Impact of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act.

At the national level, the economic effect of the Waxman-Markey bill would be to reduce employment by around two million jobs by 2030. Household income would go down, and energy prices would go up. From 2010 to 2030, the nation would lose from two to three trillion dollars of national income.

For Kansas, the report notes that transportation manufacturing will show decreases in output of 8.0% to 8.4% by 2030. That’s a larger decline that what general manufacturing will experience. Transportation manufacturing, of course, includes the aircraft industry that Wichita depends on.

This legislation is so bad that even global warming alarmists are necessarily fans of Waxman-Markey. The liberal magazine Mother Jones says this: “First, Waxman-Markey is a kludge of a bill. It’s possible that its cost-benefit is negative, and it’s almost certain that, by itself, its cost benefit is quite small even if it is positive. Second, W-M’s carbon caps by themselves will probably have only a tiny effect on rising temperatures. Third, global warming is a hopeless problem if we don’t get the rest of the world to address it too. If China and India and the rest of the developing world don’t play along, nothing the U.S. and Europe do by themselves will be enough to halt it.”

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