Healthy economic growth under cap and trade, per detractors

I've blogged before about the dog and pony shows that some groups have been involved in to forecast economic disaster in the event Congress passes climate legislation. One study used to prop this point of view up was commissioned by the American Council for Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers, and has been featured prominently by the US Chamber of Commerce in a number of climate and energy forums around the U.S.

More recently, one of the authors of this study acknowledged that even their numbers show the US GDP would double if we passed a climate bill, hardly the economic doom usually forecast by detractors.

Now we have even more information on what their modeling shows. The Political Economy Research Institutes (PERI) just analyzed the results of the ACCF/NAM study and pulled out the kinds of information that the sponsors chose to leave buried. They have posted a set of state-specific fact sheets that dig into the numbers underlying the ACCF/NAM model and show quite healthy economic growth a climate bill.

PERI draws out of the ACCF/NAM numbers the increases in state GDPs, personal income and several other economic indicators.  

For instance, according to the PERI review, the ACCF/NAM figures project that by 2030, under the 'worst-case' scenario with a climate bill,  

  • Indiana GDP would grow by 68% and personal income by 57%;
  • Ohio GDP would grow by 59% and personal income by 58%;
  • Tennessee GDP would grow by 78% and personal income by 49%;

and so on. Click here to see the fact sheets for about 30 states.

Now, this is not to say that PERI considers the ACCF/NAM model a reliable forecast of what would happen under cap and trade. In fact, their technical appendix, which explains just how PERI did this exercise, also reveals the many tricks used in the ACCF/NAM modeling to bias their results to show as negative an economic picture as possible.

But what is so interesting about what PERI has done is that even looking through the prism of the ACCF/NAM worst-case scenario, the economy will fare just fine.

About the Authors

Pete Altman

Director of Federal Campaigns

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