Washington, DC – This afternoon Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), released an economic analysis of the American Power Act (APA) – a piece of legislation designed to change consumer behavior by taxing 85 percent of the energy consumed in the United States in an attempt to reduce global temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions.

And while proponents of this legislation tout the “minimal costs” such a policy would have on household budgets, it’s important to note that the EPA has a history of systematically underestimating the costs of cap-and-trade legislation. Today’s analysis is no different.

Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research issued this statement on the economic analysis released today on the American Power Act:

“The American people overwhelming oppose an increase in the gas tax – yet, it’s included in this legislation. Cap-and-trade, which will cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket,” has also been soundly rejected by the American people – yet, it is also included in this proposal. We can argue about how high the costs of this legislation will be, but no one denies that the consumer will end up with less money in their pockets after this legislation is signed into law.

“Bottom line: the more expensive it is to do business in this country, the less productive and competitive our economy will be. Mandating the use of expensive energy and artificially increasing the price of coal, oil and natural gas will only further harm our already struggling economy. It is clear that the American Power Act will do just that, so one has to ask: What are policymakers and Wall Street trying to accomplish with this legislation?”

Note: EPA’s analysis is not a cost-benefit analysis. According to EPA models, the global temperature savings of the Kerry-Lieberman bill is astoundingly small—0.043°C (0.077°F) by 2050 and 0.111°C (0.200°F) by 2100. In other words, by century’s end, reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 83% will only result in global temperatures being one-fifth of one degree Fahrenheit less than they would otherwise be. That is a scientifically meaningless reduction.

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