Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a proposed rule to establish first-ever greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and fuel economy standards for “heavy duty” (HD) motor vehicles.
The proposed standards, which phase in during model-years 2014–2018, apply to three types of HD vehicles: (1) “combination tractors” (semi-trucks), (2) large pickups and vans, and (3) “vocational trucks” (a wide-ranging assortment of trucks and buses). The agencies estimate that the technologies needed to comply with the proposed standards will cost $7.7 billion but that the rule will generate $27 billion or $41 billion in net benefits (depending on whether future benefits are discounted at 7% or 3%).
Here’s the curious thing that jumps out at you from the getgo. Although the ostensible objective of the rule is to reduce GHG emissions and oil imports, the overwhelming share of the claimed benefits (fuel savings for truckers) has nothing to do with either climate change or energy security.…
Last week, at the first Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on S. 1733, the Kerry-Boxer “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act,” Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu explained the economic rationale for adopting a Kyoto-style cap-and-trade program.
His argument, in a nutshell, goes like this:
I have in front of me the recent Cato Handbook for Policymakers (2008). The Cato Institute advertises it as follows:
Now in its seventh edition, the Cato Handbook for Policymakers sets the standard in Washington for real cuts in federal spending, taxes, and power. It offers an issue-by-issue detailed blueprint for reducing the federal government to the limits intended by the Founding Fathers. Providing both in-depth analysis and concrete recommendations, Cato’s Handbook is an invaluable resource for policymakers and anyone else interested in securing liberty through limited government.
Energy. Chapter 43, “Energy Policy,” prepared by Cato senior fellows Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren, has the following summary:…