An analysis released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week confirms that a comprehensive solution to our dependence on oil is affordable and within reach, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
EPA analyzed the American Power Act, a comprehensive energy and climate bill sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT). EPA's findings show that the American Power Act's objectives can be achieved for a few dollars a month for the average American. That's a small investment in a clean energy economy that will create jobs, reduce pollution and increase America's energy security.
"This new analysis is the latest in a series of studies confirming that we can readily afford a comprehensive climate and energy bill that would boost our economy, reduce our dependence on imported oil and help solve climate change," said Nat Keohane, EDF's Director of Economic Policy and Analysis.
EPA's new analysis shows that the clean energy development in the American Power Act can be met for $79 to $146 per year per household, amounting to three to five dollars a month for the average individual American. The cost will be even lower at first; EPA projects that key provisions, including those for energy efficiency improvements, will lead to lower household energy bills over the next two decades.
Those families expected to be most affected by price changes will receive extra compensation under the American Power Act, so they'll have an extra layer of protection. The EPA analysis also confirms that the carbon limits in the legislation will help to prevent dangerous climate change, a key environmental objective.
Like most economic modeling, EPA's estimates look at only one side of the ledger, which means they do not take into account the huge costs of inaction. Factoring in the costs of unchecked climate change and continued oil dependence only reinforces the economic case for action.
"The BP oil disaster in the Gulf is a stark reminder of the high costs of relying on oil," said Keohane.
"We need a comprehensive approach to energy and climate legislation that sparks technological innovation and spurs a new generation of cleaner, homegrown energy sources. Today's EPA analysis confirms just how affordable a comprehensive approach will be. The investments we make will put this country onto a new clean energy path, ensuring a cleaner and more secure future for our children and grandchildren."