Highlight of the Week: EIA Analysis Finds Cost of Energy Bill Low

A new government study comes to the same conclusion as most others: clean energy legislation would cost little for the average consumer.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the nation's foremost energy projection authority, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed by the House in June, would cost only about $114 per household in increased energy bills by the year 2020.
Despite flaws in the analysis that artificially inflate the cost of the bill, the EIA study was in line with recent estimates from other nonpartisan groups, including the Congressional Budget Office and Environmental Protection Agency, which pegged the cost at less than a dollar per day by 2020.
The bill requires energy companies to help consumers mitigate costs during the crucial early years of the emissions-limiting system. The EIA study does not take into account the extension of consumer protection measures beyond the year 2025.
Adding to the growing consensus, the CBO reported last week that emission offsets could cut the costs of the bill by 70 percent from 2012 to 2050. The Government Accountability Office, an arm of the CBO, concluded that consumer costs could be largely offset if revenues are properly utilized.
Building on the findings, Senate leaders say they’re prepared to move forward with their own version of the House bill.
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) says he will meet a September committee deadline set by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for global warming legislation. According to Sen. Baucus, the Finance Committee is already planning for hearings and mark-ups on an emissions-limiting piece of clean energy legislation.

Published: August 13, 2009