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June 30, 2010

New Study: Kerry-Lieberman to Destroy Up to 5.1 Million Jobs, Cost Families $1,042 per Year, Wealthiest Americans to Benefit

June 30, 2010
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Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham may no longer claim allegiance to the climate bill currently being debated in the Senate, but according to a new independent analysis released this week, the cap-and-trade proposal being advanced by Sens. Kerry and Lieberman does no better by the American consumer than previous iterations of the bill that bore his name.

In an effort to better understand the broad consequences of the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act on the U.S. economy, the Institute for Energy Research commissioned Chamberlain Economics, L.L.C to perform an economic and distributional analysis of cap-and-trade portion of the proposal.

The following represent some of the study’s key findings:

  • The American Power Act would reduce U.S. employment by roughly 522,000 jobs in 2015, rising to over 5.1 million jobs by 2050.
  • Households would face a gross annual burden of $125.9 billion per year or $1,042 per household, with costs disproportionately borne by low-income households.
  • On a net basis, the top income quintile will benefit financially, redistributing to these households roughly $12.3 billion per year from the bottom 80 percent of earners.
  • Households over age 75 bear the largest burden at 2.3 percent of income, followed by households aged 65-74 and under age 25 at 2.1 percent. By contrast, the nation’s highest-earning households between age 45 and 54 years would bear the smallest percentage burden of just 1.5 percent.
  • Contrary to the legislation’s stated goal of reducing price volatility by excluding petroleum refiners from quarterly auctions, the Kerry-Lieberman bill is likely to significantly increase allowance price volatility from quarter to quarter, compared to an ordinary auction in which all covered industries bid for allowances.

At its core, the report examines the impacts that the American Power Act would have on the U.S. economy, the method by which emission allowances are distributed to corporations and the distributional cost of the bill on households by income, age group, region and family type. The authors also explore two specific propositions: the first, the potential for shareholders, and not consumers, to benefit from the distribution of free emission allowances; and, second, the expected consequences of the bill’s creation of a separate pool of allowances for petroleum refiners, thus adding to the price volatility of those allowances.  Both conclusions are contrary to Kerry and Lieberman’s stated intent of the legislation.

“One of the most basic criticisms of climate policy is its regressive impact on low-income households,” said Andrew Chamberlain, a co-author of the report and chief economist at Chamberlain Economics L.L.C. “The Kerry-Lieberman bill holds true to this by distributing most allowances freely to companies and government agencies for the purpose of securing political support for the bill’s passage. Aside from the distributional impact of the bill, Kerry-Lieberman suffers from serious flaws in its policy design. The bill’s exclusion of petroleum refiners from quarterly auctions—a provision designed to shield refiners from price volatility—is instead likely to have the opposite effect, increasing volatility faced by covered entities with no obvious economic or environmental benefit.”

“These numbers speak for themselves: 522,000 lost jobs in 2015, up to 5.1 million in 2050,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research. “Promoting a policy that guarantees job loss and disproportionately impacts older Americans and those earning the least will have devastating consequences. Senators Graham, Lieberman and Kerry stated from the very beginning that their goal was to bring a coalition of big oil executives, Wall Street titans and environmental groups to the table – and that’s exactly what they did. Unfortunately, as this analysis shows, the one person that wasn’t at the table ends up footing the bill: the American consumer.”

To view the entire analysis, click here.

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  • Pingback: Paying for the “American Power Act”: An Economic and Distributional Analysis of the Kerry-Lieberman Cap-and-Trade Bill « RFF Library Blog

  • Debbie Hoyt

    I just read this new “BILL” and I strongly disagree with it’s immediate or long term affect that it will have on the lower income people among the elderly people……….toooooooo feed the wealthier people’s pocket books…..Please reconsider this bill……I am on fixed income. I am disabled n get monthly check of $674………that is what I live on monthly to pay bills, groceries n lack of necessities n anyyyy so called pleasures…..Thank you for any reconsideration and replies that you can send or explain to me why this bill or taxx is necessary to mainly affect the low income n elderly peoples……

  • Debbie Hoyt

    I just read this new “BILL” and I strongly disagree with it’s immediate or long term affect that it will have on the lower income people among the elderly people……….toooooooo feed the wealthier people’s pocket books…..Please reconsider this bill……I am on fixed income. I am disabled n get monthly check of $674………that is what I live on monthly to pay bills, groceries n lack of necessities n anyyyy so called pleasures…..Thank you for any reconsideration and replies that you can send or explain to me why this bill or taxx is necessary to mainly affect the low income n elderly peoples……

  • Debbie Hoyt

    I just read this new “BILL” and I strongly disagree with it’s immediate or long term affect that it will have on the lower income people among the elderly people……….toooooooo feed the wealthier people’s pocket books…..Please reconsider this bill……I am on fixed income. I am disabled n get monthly check of $674………that is what I live on monthly to pay bills, groceries n lack of necessities n anyyyy so called pleasures…..Thank you for any reconsideration and replies that you can send or explain to me why this bill or taxx is necessary to mainly affect the low income n elderly peoples……

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  • Buck

    Well, I guess old George Soros gets rich again. First, he makes out like the bandit that he is on his investments in utilities. Then his huge investments in Internationalist Organizations like the CFR, CAP and the other Blame America First groups pay off when the increased energy costs they push on his behalf tube the US economy and the currency trading he specializes in allows him to short the dollar the way he did the British Pound when he made $2 billion in one day’s haul. What an amazing story it will all be when the media finally tells it. It saddens me that politicians and fat cats with no conscience can continue to abuse people like Debbie by using the phony “saving the earth” mantra that has made Al Gore rich. We all learned what he was all about.

  • Buck

    Well, I guess old George Soros gets rich again. First, he makes out like the bandit that he is on his investments in utilities. Then his huge investments in Internationalist Organizations like the CFR, CAP and the other Blame America First groups pay off when the increased energy costs they push on his behalf tube the US economy and the currency trading he specializes in allows him to short the dollar the way he did the British Pound when he made $2 billion in one day’s haul. What an amazing story it will all be when the media finally tells it. It saddens me that politicians and fat cats with no conscience can continue to abuse people like Debbie by using the phony “saving the earth” mantra that has made Al Gore rich. We all learned what he was all about.

  • Buck

    Well, I guess old George Soros gets rich again. First, he makes out like the bandit that he is on his investments in utilities. Then his huge investments in Internationalist Organizations like the CFR, CAP and the other Blame America First groups pay off when the increased energy costs they push on his behalf tube the US economy and the currency trading he specializes in allows him to short the dollar the way he did the British Pound when he made $2 billion in one day’s haul. What an amazing story it will all be when the media finally tells it. It saddens me that politicians and fat cats with no conscience can continue to abuse people like Debbie by using the phony “saving the earth” mantra that has made Al Gore rich. We all learned what he was all about.

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  • landon d

    it is not economical dbd i found this on the internets that al gore created

  • landon d

    it is not economical dbd i found this on the internets that al gore created

  • landon d

    it is not economical dbd i found this on the internets that al gore created

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