The National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation today continued their campaign of public deception against the American Clean Energy and Security Act with the release of an analysis that purports to show manufacturing declines and job losses if the bill passes.
Problem is, NAM’s numbers are about as trustworthy as the forged letters sent by their allies to members of Congress, which faked opposition to the ACES bill from local community groups. They are no more real that the Birthers’ imaginary Kenyan birth certificate for President Obama, which names a laundry detergent as the registrar. (Really.)
As you know, NAM has a long history of opposing virtually every major environmental law, often using similar bad arguments with flawed data. NAM/ACCF’s study from last year was seriously flawed – it claimed to look at that year's Lieberman-Warner bill, but it ignored important provisions of the legislation and imposed artificial constraints on the economy’s ability to reduce emissions.
The analysis presumed there would be no banking of emission allowances and only limited use of offsets. The study also artificially constrained the use of renewable energy and carbon capture and storage.
In short, they applied make-believe assumptions to a make-believe bill, and they are doing it again:
- NAM/ACCF’s conclusions assume that ACES will spur 10 to 25 GW in new nuclear power. Compare that to the Energy Information Administration’s base scenario, which predicts 10 GW without the bill – and as much as 95 GW with the bill.
- NAM/ACCF assumes that 95 percent of cost-saving offsets will come from domestic projects and five percent from overseas. In fact, ACES provides for a 50-50 split between domestic and international offsets, and the latter are expected to be more cost-effective.
These are but two questionable assumptions from the very few that NAM and ACCF disclosed – from a model with a huge array of inputs. No one will ever know exactly how they reached their numbers, because important details about their analysis and underlying assumptions remain in a black box.
We’ll have a more detailed rebuttal to NAM/ACCF’s claims for you later today.
In the meantime, here’s what we already know from independent, transparent analysis:
- The Energy Information Administration says the cap on carbon pollution in ACES can be achieved for $83 per year per household – or a dime a day per person. One of the reasons for the affordability is that increases in electricity and natural gas bills of consumers are substantially mitigated through 2025 by the allocation of free allowances to regulated electricity and natural gas distribution companies.
- The Congressional Budget Office found [PDF] that ACES would cost the average household $175 a year by 2020, or about the cost of a postage stamp per day. The CBO also found that the poorest 20 percent of American households would actually see a net cash gain under the bill of about a $40 in 2020. The study factored in the value of emissions allowances that will be rebated to consumers.
- The Environmental Protection Agency puts the cost of a carbon cap on at $88-$140 per household per year over the life of the program – or about a dime a day per person. (Sound familiar?)
- The Energy Information Administration (see above) also says that ACES would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The U.S. would reduce its consumption of oil by 344 million barrels in the year 2030 alone, a cut of more than 12 percent from predicted imports for the same year without the bill. To put that figure in perspective, 344 million barrels of oil are worth almost $26 billion today.
- The United States Global Change Research Program found that America will face hundreds of billions of dollars in costs if we don’t take steps to stop climate change. The cost of inaction will include: sea level rise of as much as two feet that will destroy property along our coasts; stronger hurricanes and other storms that will damage cities; and severe droughts that will devastate agricultural sectors.