Economic Concerns Dominate Climate Debate

Washington, DC (July 15, 2007)- According to the Washington Post, “the potential economic impact of meaningful climate legislation- enough to reduce U.S. emissions by at least sixty percent- is vast. Automobiles would have to get double their current miles to the gallon. Building codes would have to be tougher, requiring use of more energy-efficient materials.” Some experts estimate electricity bills would need to rise over 33 percent to stimulate and pay for these new technologies.

“I don’t think there’s any question that what is being talked about now would, over the long term, be insufficient,” said Philip Sharp, president of the think tank Resources for the Future and a former House member. “The issue is: Will Congress get in place a larger architecture that sends a signal to the economy that accelerates change?”
“The scope of the problem is really enormous,” said Prasad Kasibhatla, associate professor of environmental chemistry at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “If the climate change bills go through Congress and could somehow be coupled to a multinational agreement, then things could really start to change, but I’d like to start seeing real agreements between countries before I call myself an optimist,” Kasibhatla said.
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) said, “I sincerely doubt that the American people are willing to pay what this is really going to cost them,” adding that he would propose legislation implementing a carbon tax ”just to sort of see how people really feel about this.”
For more information, visit the Washington Post.