The U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) released an analysis of the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill (S. 2191), which causes the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to comment that the bill has sobering economic and social costs, particularly the hike in future natural gas prices.
"Natural gas prices are the linchpin for manufacturers in any proposed climate change solution," said NAM CEO John Engler. "Manufacturers are the most natural gas intensive sector, and affordable natural gas is essential to the long-term competitiveness of manufacturing and the U.S. economy. According to the EIA, the price of natural gas would nearly double from $11 per MMBTU today to $19 per MMBTU under the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill. Clearly, the proposed legislation now before Congress runs the risk of doing more economic harm than environmental good," he said.
Engler added that the NAM commissioned a joint study with the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) which found that the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill would "reduce U.S. gross domestic product by up to $210 billion per year by 2020 -- imposing more economic damage than the housing financial crisis each and every year-- including employment losses of up to 1.8 million jobs in 2020. With the nation on the brink of recession, federal climate change policies that would further slow the economy in return for indeterminate benefits are ill-advised."
"We can not continue to propose increases in the price of natural gas while failing to expand domestic gas exploration and increased investment in nuclear energy technology," Engler concluded.