Yes, We Can Afford Clean Energy & Climate Legislation


Photo via Wind Guys

One of the persisting myths about comprehensive, carbon-pricing legislation is that it would cost the nation an arm and a leg to enact. This simply is not the case, as a recent bipartisan, independent analysis of the dying Kerry-Lieberman clean energy and climate bill reveals: The Congressional Budget Office found that passing the climate bill would trim the federal budget by $19 billion dollars over the next ten years. Here's the further proof that we all can more than afford clean energy legislation.Here's the Associated Press:

Congressional budget experts say a climate and energy bill now stalled in the Senate would reduce the federal deficit by about $19 billion over the next decade. The report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office was the second positive analysis of the bill by a government agency in a month, but is likely to carry more weight than a similar report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. The CBO is the entity responsible for providing Congress with nonpartisan analyses of economic and budget issues, and lawmakers rely on it for guidance.

The CBO report was immediately hailed by the bill's sponsors, who are struggling to move the climate measure through a divided Congress. Lawmakers have quietly begun considering a more modest approach that would target the electricity sector, in case the more sweeping measure fails.

But even if the bill would benefit the budget, it will hurt taxpayers, cry the bill's opponents. The EPA's analysis found that this was barely true -- they found that the cost on the taxpayer of enacting the clean energy legislation was between $79 and $146 per family a year. That means that it would cost less than a dollar a day to begin weaning our nation off our dependence on fossil fuels, and to start fighting climate change.

And remember, poll after poll shows that a majority of Americans are willing to pay "slightly higher" energy costs if it means both those things will happen. Add to that the outrage at the BP Gulf spill, and you should have yourself an ironclad case for passing clean energy legislation. But alas, where there should be that ironclad case, there's only what we have -- a hithering, dithering Senate.

More on Clean Energy Legislation
The BP Spill and the State of Clean Energy Legislation (Video)
CBO Says Climate Bill Will Cut Deficit, Emissions Set To Rise

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