This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Study: Economy Can Grow While Carbon Emissions Are Cut
A new report by the Center for a Sustainable Economy (CSE) and the Economic Policy Institute concludes that the U.S. economy can grow under policies that tax carbon dioxide emissions while promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy. The study used a sophisticated macroeconomic model to examine the effects of these policies. Included in the model were policies to help energy- intensive industries that would be hurt by a carbon tax and policies to help workers that would be displaced from carbon-intensive industries, such as the coal industry. The model also assumed that most of the revenues from the carbon tax would go towards a cut in income tax.
The study found that under this set of policies, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would grow 0.6 percent by 2020, while carbon dioxide emissions would drop by 50 percent. Along the way, a net 1.4 million jobs would be created, after- tax wages would rise, and household energy bills would fall. And oil imports, currently projected to increase by about 40 percent by 2020, would instead stay essentially level. See the CSE press release, with a link to the full report (PDF 276 KB). Download Acrobat Reader
A growing number of U.S. cities are now pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Salt Lake City is a recent entry, pledging to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. To help meet that goal, the city will establish a scientific, detailed tracking of its greenhouse gas emissions. Through the city's "Salt Lake City Green" program, the city plans to cut emissions by encouraging the construction of "high performance" energy- efficient buildings while promoting alternative fuel vehicles, electricity conservation, and other measures. Mayor Rocky Anderson announced the pledge on the eve of the Olympic Winter Games. See the Mayor's announcement.