Imagine what you could do with an extra $400 or $500 a year – save for retirement, fill your gasoline tank several extra times or buy a plane ticket for vacation. Now multiply that amount by every member in your immediate family. It could add up to a lot of extra money.
But not so fast. A bill introduced in the Senate by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) would require companies to scale back greenhouse-gas emissions to 2005 levels by 2012 and 1990 levels by 2020 – and that bill would come with a hefty price tag.
One analysis of that bill by CRA International, an international business consulting firm, predicts the Lieberman-Warner bill could cost $4 trillion to $6 trillion over the next 40 years, according to an editorial in the November 11 Washington Times.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned that such carbon caps have a cost – stating in his book, “The Age of Turbulence,” that the effect would be limited unless imposed globally. Caps imposed only on the United States would be detrimental.
“There is no effective way to meaningfully reduce emissions without negatively impacting a large part of an economy,” Greenspan wrote. “Net, it is a tax. If the cap is low enough to make a meaningful inroad into CO2 emissions, permits will become expensive and large numbers of companies will experience cost increases that make them less competitive. Jobs will be lost and real incomes of workers constrained.”