August 12, 2009

Running a Nation...

Into the ground


Waxman-Markey Will Kneecap U.S. Manufacturing, Manufacturers Say

Boy, the skirmish lines in the climate fight keep shaping up.

Today, industrial interests released their take on the costs of the Waxman-Markey climate bill. Not surprisingly, the National Assocation of Manufacturers found the bill would whack U.S. industry, kill about 2 million jobs, and knock about 2% of U.S. GDP by 2030.

The study (summary here, more here) uses roughly the same model as that used by the Energy Information Administration to come to grips with the impact of the legislation, which the House passed in June. One big difference: All the assumptions which went into this anlysis are still under wraps.

UPDATE: NAM and the American Council for Capital Formation clarify that, while the full report with detailed modeling assumptions isn’t yet available, the base assumptions underlying the study are available here. They explain what lies behind the “low-cost” and the “high-cost” scenarios.

The thrust of the study shows that higher energy prices, the result of caps on greenhouse-gas emissions and a shift to pricier energy sources, will hit manufacturing harder than other sectors. For instance, the study says that manufacturing will bear between 59% and 66% of all job losses associated with the bill.

That means that Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—not coincidentally, key swing states in the Senate debate over the bill—would be among the hardest hit. That translates into higher electricity prices, lower household income, job losses, and in almost all those states, “a lasting effect on the economic base.”

Keith McCoy, the vice president of Energy Policy at NAM, said it would be “illogical” for Congress to consider legislation that hurts growth and employment just as the recovery is getting underway.

Opponents struck back at the new report as soon as it was published. The Environmental Defense Fund, big fans of the cap-and-trade plan, said NAM was “manufacturing” numbers. “NAM’s numbers are about as trustworthy as the forged letters sent by their allies to members of Congress,” said EDF spokesman Tony Kreindler.


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