The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Red Flags

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted September 23, 2009

Three more studies have been issued about the Waxman-Markey climate bill, and each represents another red flag urging extreme caution.

Last Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) quietly released a new analysis of the bill's potential impact on the U.S. economy. The study shows that the Waxman-Markey bill could reduce the nation's Gross Domestic Product by up to 3.5 percent by 2050. As I've pointed out on this blog, the CBO neglected to include the bill's GDP impacts in its earlier study, resulting in findings that grossly downplayed the climate bill's costs.

Now in its new study, the CBO says the impacts by 2050 would be "modest" because the economy is likely to be much larger by then. And it goes on to say that the effect on the average household would be small, because people would be spending their time "in nonmarket activities, including childrearing, caring for the home and leisure."

"Nonmarket activities" and "caring for the home"? Although that expression might conjure up a pleasant image of June Cleaver in her apron serving a hot meal to Wally and Beaver, it actually means that people would be out of work. As I've reported here, the bill could eliminate millions of jobs, according to several studies.

Also on Friday, the Treasury Department released documents showing that the administration expects to raise as much as $300 billion in new government revenue every year under a Waxman-Markey-like bill. The documents were released after the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced the results of its Freedom of Information Act request for the administration's cost estimates. CEI says the bill could cost the average American household more than $1,000-2,000 per year.

That means June Cleaver's family could have about $166.00 less to spend on food every month. So much for the hot food--maybe she feeds them government-issued cheese.

Yesterday, the National Center for Public Policy Research unfurled a third red flag when it released an analysis showing that millions of Americans could lose their health insurance if the Waxman-Markey bill is passed. "For every one percentage point increase in unemployment, 1.1 million Americans lose their health insurance coverage," said David A. Ridenour. "With the Waxman-Markey legislation projected to cost an average of 1.15 million jobs annually between 2012 and 2030, this could translate into tens of millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage."

Poor June. Now she has to worry whether The Beav will get his vaccinations and braces for his teeth.

The House-passed climate bill is much too costly for American consumers and the economy. Surely the U.S. Senate can come up with a better plan.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.