November 20, 2009
Analysis of Waxman-Markey Finds that All States Will Benefit from Strong National Policies
by Robert Kropp
A report from the University of California at Berkeley concludes that passage of climate change
legislation could create 1.9 million jobs by 2020.
In the face of opposition to effective climate change legislation from members of Congress, and
intense lobbying efforts by industry trade groups such as the US Chamber of Congress, a new report
from the University of California at Berkeley provides welcome documentation of the economic
benefits that could result from passage.
The report, entitled C
lean Energy & Climate Policy for US Growth and Job Creation: An Economic Assessment of the American
Clean Energy & Security Act, employs the EAGLE
economic forecasting model to predict that the climate change legislation passed by the House of
Representatives in June could, by 2020, lead to the creation of up to 1.9 million jobs and increase
household income by $1,176.
Asserting that "comprehensive national climate policy does not
benefit the coasts at the expense of the heartland states," the report finds instead that "All 50
states can gain economically from strong federal energy and climate policy, despite the diversity
of their economies and energy mixes." In fact, states in the heartland stand to gain a greater
benefit, because "Demand side policies make a bigger difference for more carbon-dependent states,
and carbon reduction opportunities represent riper and lower hanging fruit."
addresses the four primary provisions of the climate change bill passed by the House. The bill
would require the implementation of a cap-and-trade program, whose proceeds would in turn help fund
hundreds of billions of dollars in research, development and deployment of clean energy and energy
efficient technologies. The bill also requires that electric utilities meet 20% of their sales
through renewable energy by 2020, and proposes energy efficiency standards for new buildings,
appliances, and vehicles.
The analysis of the climate change bill concludes that, given
research indicating that the current depression in fossil fuel prices will not last, a national
climate policy with efficiency standards will provide growth dividends for every state economy. For
most states, those dividends will increase with the adoption of renewable energy sources.
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