Costing Out Cap-and-Trade
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office issued a cost estimate for H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The bill would establish not one, but two “cap-and-trade” programs designed to limit the release of undesirable gasses into the atmosphere.
“Cap-and-trade” is when the government limits (“caps”) the emissions of greenhouse gasses and hydrofluorocarbons then issues tradeable credits for emissions. The idea is to force industries to find the most efficient ways they can to reduce these gasses and improve the environment.
But cap-and-trade don’t come cheap. The estimated cost of the bill is about $12,000 per U.S. family. It’s the most costly bill in the current Congress, just like a similar bill was in the last Congress.
(The cost figures we use here are known as “net present value.” That’s the amount you would have to put in the bank today to fund future spending. The CBO estimate includes ten years of spending and tax colletions. There’s more about our cost reporting on our “about” page.)
So if you want to reduce greenhouse gasses, be prepared to pay the price. To some it may be worth it, to others it may not be. Where do you come down on it?
Below is the current vote on H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article about the bill.