Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Benefit of climate legislation and other environmental acts

Business often speaks of the cost side of environmental law, what about the benefits?

This is something often ignored on the local level as well - what is the benefit of spending money on open space or clean water for our town. They tend to be longer term strategic interests.


So, given that the Waxman-Markey bill would curb emissions over the next 40 years, it’s a pretty simple job to tally up the potential benefits: about $1.5 trillion on the middle-of-the-road estimate. The benefits could be as low as $382 billion or as high as $5.2 trillion, depending on how you fiddle with the numbers.

Since Waxman-Markey is meant to cost about $660 billion, that means the bill provides $2.27 in benefits for every dollar spent, the brief concludes. That doesn’t include extra benefits—cleaner air from a cleaned-up power sector, for instance. And it suggests that even tougher greenhouse-gas targets in the Senate version of the bill would make an even more compelling economic argument.

No comments: