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Category — Kerrry-Lieberman

Why Cap-and-Trade Is Politically Failing: Cost, Cost, Cost (The Chamberlin study and his response to Michael Levi, Council on Foreign Relations)

[Editor note: The summary and analysis below is reprinted with the permission of the Institute for Energy Research. The sections past the summary are authored by Dr. Andrew Chamberlin. Cap-and-trade remains alive unless the U.S. Senate fails to pass legislation to go to conference with HR 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.)

To better understand the broad consequences of the proposed Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act on the U.S. economy, the Institute for Energy Research commissioned Chamberlain Economics, L.L.C to perform an economic and distributional analysis of cap-and-trade portion of the proposal.

The report examines the impacts that the American Power Act would have on the U.S. economy, the method by which emission allowances are distributed to corporations and the distributional cost of the bill on households by income, age group, region and family type.

The study’s key findings of the American Power Act follow:

  •   U.S. employment would be reduced by roughly 522,000 in 2015, rising to over 5.1 million jobs by 2050.
  • Households would face a gross annual burden of $125.9 billion per year or $1,042 per household, with costs disproportionately borne by low-income households.
  • On a net basis, the top income quintile will benefit financially, redistributing to these households roughly $12.3 billion per year from the bottom 80 percent of earners.
  • Households over age 75 bear the largest burden at 2.3 percent of income, followed by households aged 65-74 and under age 25 at 2.1 percent. By contrast, the nation’s highest-earning households between age 45 and 54 years would bear the smallest percentage burden of just 1.5 percent.
  • Contrary to the legislation’s stated goal of reducing price volatility by excluding petroleum refiners from quarterly auctions, the Kerry-Lieberman bill is likely to significantly increase allowance price volatility from quarter to quarter, compared to an ordinary auction in which all covered industries bid for allowances.

The authors also explored two specific propositions: the first, the potential for shareholders, and not consumers, to benefit from the distribution of free emission allowances; and, second, the expected consequences of the bill’s creation of a separate pool of allowances for petroleum refiners, thus adding to the price volatility of those allowances.  Both conclusions are contrary to Kerry and Lieberman’s stated intent of the legislation. [Read more →]

July 28, 2010   3 Comments