Economic Analysis: Waxman-Markey Clean Energy Act Can Cut Pollution, Create $465 Billion In Wealth A Year

According to a new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Americans can “significantly reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills” by implementing green economy legislation. In a two-year study, UCS analyzed the economic, emissions, and energy effects of their recommendations for clean energy, clean vehicles, and global warming standards. The UCS approach of comprehensive energy, transportation, and cap policies is similar to that in the American Clean Energy Security Act, released in draft form earlier this month by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA). The analysis finds that by 2030, net household savings will reach $900 a year, while oil use drops 6 million barrels a day and global warming pollution is cut in half:

Billions Of Dollars In Annual Savings Across The Nation

Source: 4/22/09 Congressional Testimony, Kevin Knobloch, Union of Concerned Scientists

UCS will soon release the complete version of its two-year study, “Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy,” which uses a modified version of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) to project “how UCS recommendations would reduce emissions and lower energy costs over the next 20 years.” Tomorrow, UCS president Kevin Knobloch will testify before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about the initial findings of the Clean Energy Blueprint:


— Under the Blueprint, our nation meets a carbon cap of 26% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 56% below 2005 levels by 2030.

— We can achieve these deep cuts in carbon emissions while saving American consumers and businesses $465 billion annually in 2030. The Blueprint also builds $1.6 trillion in cumulative net savings between 2010 and 2030.

— We can keep jobs growing at the same rate as in the reference case.

— We can cut the use of oil and petroleum products by 6 million barrels a day in 2030 — as much oil as we currently import from OPEC and 30 percent of our nation’s current total daily oil consumption.

— We can save consumers money on their energy bills because of increased energy efficiency, even though electricity rates and gasoline prices go up slightly. That means families will see average household savings of $900 a year in 2030, while businesses will, all together, save nearly $130 billion a year.

We can reduce power plant carbon emissions 84% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Blueprint policies will also cut mercury, acid rain, smog and soot pollution, improving air and water quality and saving lives.

We can cut emissions from cars and trucks by 40% compared to their 2005 levels and freeze emissions from freight trucks at 2005 levels even as the economy undergoes significant growth. The transportation sector contributes the second largest area of emissions reductions and accounts for one-half of the net consumer and business energy cost savings in 2030.

The savings in the transportation sector come on top of the savings that will come because of the increase in fuel economy standards in 2007. Strong efficiency standards, like those in Waxman-Markey, drive the transformation of the electricity sector, allowing the nation to end its dependence on dirty coal and allow citizens to keep their money in their pocketbooks.

Efficiency Key To Transforming U.S. Electricity Use

Source: 4/22/09 Congressional Testimony, Kevin Knobloch, Union of Concerned Scientists