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Study: Emissions limits wouldn't hurt economy

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  • Mike Neuman
    Saturday, April 16, 2005 Study: Emissions limits wouldn t hurt economy Report on greenhouse-gas reductions runs counter to administration s stance. By JOHN
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 18, 2005
      Saturday, April 16, 2005
      Study: Emissions limits wouldn't hurt economy
      Report on greenhouse-gas reductions runs counter to administration's
      The Associated Press

      WASHINGTON – The Energy Information Administration said mandatory
      limits on all U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse"
      gases would not significantly affect average economic growth rates
      across the country through 2025.

      The finding contradicts President George W. Bush's repeated
      pronouncements that limits on carbon dioxide and other gases that
      warm the atmosphere like a greenhouse would seriously harm the U.S.

      Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., asked the independent arm of the Energy
      Department to study the possible effects of a proposal by the
      National Commission on Energy Policy, a nongovernmental panel funded
      by U.S. philanthropic foundations.

      The commission proposed capping how much carbon dioxide, methane and
      other gases that factories, mines and power plants can emit.
      Beginning in 2010, businesses that pollute more than their allotment
      would have to pay up to $7 per ton to those that pollute less. The
      trade of such pollution would slow growth of greenhouse-gas emissions
      by 2.4 percent a year, the commission said.

      The commission estimated its plan would cut greenhouse gases by 7
      percent, or 622 million tons, from what is forecast for 2025.
      Emissions would still increase 1 percent a year on average during the
      interim. But without imposing the limits the plan suggests, that rate
      would be 1.5 percent.

      Carrying out the plan also would reduce total fossil-fuel consumption
      by 2.7 percent by 2025, though "oil use is reduced only minimally,"
      the commission said. The commission found coal use would increase 22
      percent over that time, while total electricity prices would rise
      less than 5 percent and gasoline prices would go up by a few pennies
      per gallon.

      William K. Reilly, the commission co-chairman who headed the
      Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush,
      said it was an old argument that the economy could not withstand
      greenhouse-gas reductions. He said both his commission and the Energy
      Information Administration have now shown otherwise.

      "This is a reassuring set of conclusions," he said.

      The commission also recommended a 36 percent increase in the average
      fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks between 2010 and 2015,
      and doubling to $3 billion a year the budget for federal energy
      research and development. In addition, it called for new tax
      incentives for gasifying coal and building nuclear plants.

      Adding those measures to the greenhouse-gas plan, the commission
      estimated, would reduce the nation's gross domestic product in 2025
      by about 0.4 percent.

      The White House said Friday the commission's plan would amount to
      losses of about $313 billion in GDP and 101,000 jobs a year by 2025.
      "Any reduction in U.S. GDP is serious and would impact not only
      American businesses, but American families," said Michele St.

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