Liberals have been eerily silent about the EPA’s recently leaked plan to control America’s entire energy sector. But they did latch on to one sentence in the report. For example, Think Progress blares: Bush Hiding Truth: Global Warming Regulations Worth $2 Trillion Benefit.
Jim Manzi exposes the EPA’s phony numbers at The Corner:
If you click through the supplied link, you can read the first 150 pages of this EPA report, which, as a service to my readers, I did. (I’ve got to get a new gig.)
You can find the $2 trillion estimate right there in a table on page 101. As you work your way through the analytical assumptions, however, you find that (i) this assumes a 3% discount rate, which is nice work if you can get it, and (ii) even more amusingly, counts the benefits attributable to the whole world, not just residents of the United States. At this discount rate the report estimates the total economic benefit of avoiding one ton of CO2 emissions to be $40. How much of this the U.S. portion? $1. So more than 95% of the “benefit” in this cost-benefit analysis accrues to people outside the U.S. who aren’t paying the freight.
Why didn’t the State Department sponsor this, as it sounds like the most generous foreign aid program in history? The EPA wants us to raise the price of gas so that we can help people not yet born all over the world with a problem that might develop several decades from now.