Policy Documents

No. 101 - State Greenhouse Gas Programs: An Economic and Scientific Analysis (summary pdf)

February 15, 2003

State greenhouse gas programs aimed at reducing emissions to 7 percent less than 1990 levels could cost the average state government $3.2 billion in direct expenses and lost revenues, or 28.6 percent of an average state government’s entire 2001 revenues. Consumers would have to pay even more: approximately $10,000 a year per household in higher prices and lost income. The benefits of reducing emissions are likely to be nonexistent, and even worst-case scenarios suggest benefits are an order of magnitude less than the expected cost. The scientific basis of global warming theory is too uncertain to justify state greenhouse gas reduction efforts. If policymakers want to "do something" about the possible threat of global warming, they should direct their efforts at encouraging sequestration and adaptation and repealing laws that discourage energy conservation.

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