Getting Greener May Cost Us Less Than We Think
Cutting greenhouse gases along the lines of a climate bill pending in Congress would modestly impact the US economy over the next few decades, the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Wednesday in a report.
"Reducing the risk of climate change would come at some cost to the economy," CBO director Douglas Elmendorf told a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, two weeks before the Senate takes up the climate change bill.
"Over the next few decades the economic losses from policies to avert climate change would exceed the economic gains in terms of climate change," he added.
The House of Representatives passed its own version of the climate bill in June. Elmendorf said the Cap and Trade initiative it includes would reduce US gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.25 percent to 0.75 percent in 2020 and by 3.5 percent in 2050.
However, he added, CBO projects that inflation-adjusted GDP growth will be two-and-a-half times larger than today's, "so those changes will be comparatively modest."