In sharp contrast with industry projections, an optimistic analysis released by the White House July 31 shows that compliance with the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change would result in modest economic costs in the U.S. The study indicates that compliance would lower GDP by no more than 0.11%, or about $12 billion a year, from 2008 to 2012. That translates to an increase of no more than 6 cents a gallon of gasoline and a $100 per household annual increase in utility bills.
The Kyoto accord, which the White House has not sent to the Senate for ratification knowing that it would face certain defeat, calls for the U.S. to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 7% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Several industry-backed studies, however, estimate that compliance would require a reduction of 30% or more in energy use below currently projected levels, with devastating effect on GDP.