Cap and Trade: All Pain, No Gain for Consumers, Economy, Environment

Posted March 13, 2009 | folder icon Print this page

March 13, 2009
Laura Henderson (202) 621-2951

Cap and Trade: All Pain, No Gain for Consumers, Economy, Environment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of two hearings in the House today on how an economy-wide cap and trade program might affect working-class American families, Institute for Energy Research (IER) released an analysis that demonstrates that lawmakers’ concerns about the financial burden cap and trade would impose on their constituents are well founded.

“Cap and trade has two goals: increase energy costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said IER President Thomas J. Pyle. “IER’s analysis clearly shows that cap and trade goes one for two—it is as historically ineffective at reducing carbon dioxide emissions as it is historically adept at raising gas prices and electricity bills. With our economy in free fall and millions of Americans out of work, the idea that lawmakers would enact an unnecessary policy to harm families’ budgets is as irresponsible as it is illogical.”

The analysis shows that cap and trade:

· Is designed to increase the price of 85 percent of the energy we use;

· Didn’t reduce emissions in Europe, home of the world’s only full-scale carbon dioxide cap and trade policy;

· Targets low-income earners;

· Unfairly targets rural economies; and,

· Penalizes domestic and friendly trade partners’ energy resources in favor of Middle East oil.

More from IER on carbon regulation:

· IER Study: Carbon Taxes Reduce Economic Growth & Achieve No Environmental Improvement

· Blog Posting: The Dangers of a “Carbon Fed”

· Press Release: Obama Attempts to Sneak Biggest Tax Increase in History into Budget

· IER Study: Green Jobs: Fact or Fiction?

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


This post has no tags yet.
IER Webmng
  • Megan from ACCCE

    Very interesting findings from the IER. Similarly, “a recent study found that low-income Americans, specifically minority families, are hardest hit by rising energy prices. For the half of the U.S. families earning $50,000 or less per year, energy costs consumed 20 percent of after-tax income in 2008. The study also revealed that energy costs consumed a quarter of after-tax income when families made $30,000 or less.

    There may not be a perfect solution to the challenge of maintaining affordable energy, but there are ways we can hold down the costs. One of them is using low-cost energy resources like American coal—generating electricity from coal is 33% cheaper than other fossil fuels.