Nov 24, 2009

CBO Brief - The Costs of Reducing Greenhouse-Gas Emissions

Many of us in the environmental and energy field see his new CBO brief as a early Christmas Gift so please read this full document here (PDF)

Sooo many blatant problems summarized in this brief "it looks like a drug company ad in a magazine with five pages of warnings on why your probably worse on the drug than without it." - Happy Holidays!

What are the Impacts of H.R. 2454 on Allowance Prices, Percentage Change in Real Gross Domestic Product, Macroeconomics, Employment, or The Distribution of Costs?

The CBO Brief includes a series of issue summaries from the Congressional Budget Office surrounding The Costs of Reducing Greenhouse-Gas Emissions. The brief also illustrates the uncertainty surrounding such estimates using studies of a recent legislative proposal, H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

From CBO brief
... researchers generally conclude that a continued increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases would have serious and costly effects.
Emissions in the Absence of Policy Changes
In 2006, the United States emitted roughly 7 billion metric tons (MT) of greenhouse gases.... Eighty percent of domestic emissions consisted of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels in activities such as manufacturing, electricity generation, transportation, agriculture, and the heating and cooling of buildings. The remaining 20 per-cent—consisting of CO2 emitted from sources other than fossil fuels... Under current land-use patterns in the United States, forests and soils absorb nearly 900 million MT CO2 every year, putting net U.S. emissions in 2006 at about 6 billion MT CO2e. U.S. emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels accounted for one-fifth of global CO2 emissions from such activities.

However, net U.S. emissions of all greenhouse gases accounted for only about 12 percent of net global emissions... Experts generally expect that, in the absence of policy changes to reduce them, domestic greenhouse-gas emissions will grow substantially in the next few decades, totaling roughly 330 billion MT CO2e between now and 2050. However, long-term trends in emissions are notoriously difficult to project because they will be influenced by population and income growth, by advances in technology, and by the availability and price of fossil fuels; total emissions, therefore, could be substantially higher or lower than that central estimate...
NOTE TO READER - It is important to note that the CBO estimates incorporate somewhat dangerous and varying assumptions about economic growth, policy implementation, households' and firms' responses, the development and cost of various types of technology over time, and the availability of offsets. The EIA recently ran in to major issues trying to appease... many of these numbers are banking on a nearly full recovery of jobs and economics to pre-2007 standards and appears as dangerous as EIA peak oil predictions.