The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

CBO Calculations: Too Rosy a Scenario

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 24, 2009

The most recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculations for the Waxman-Markey climate bill give new meaning to the term "rosy scenario."

CBO pegs the annual household cost of Waxman-Markey at $175 per household, yet its own report suggests gasoline could rise 77 cents a gallon. That's $800 more a year just for gasoline, assuming a family uses 20 gallons a week. CBO claims that free emission allowances will offset this, but these go to businesses and government--not consumers.

Unlike other analyses, including EPA's, CBO assumes the legislation won't slow down the economy. But tweak CBO's assumptions with common sense and the annual household bill is more like $3,300. And that's in 2020 before the emissions cap ratchets down and costs climb thousands more.

Proponents of Waxman-Markey want you to believe cap-and-trade isn't going to cost more than taking a few people to Disney World for a day; however no amount of econometric sleight-of-hand can make that true.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.