New Report: Failed Energy Policies Cost Americans $120 Billion a Year

“Energy and climate-change legislation winding through Congress might make economic sense even if you don’t believe for a second in climate change.”

The words of some treehugging liberal? Not exactly. They’re from Keith Johnson reporting in the Wall Street Journal, one of the most conservative newspapers in America.

Johnson’s talking about a new report from the National Research Council called “Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use”:

America’s current energy mix carries a “hidden cost” of about $120 billion a year, the report found. And that number doesn’t include any tally for the cost of greenhouse-gas emissions or climate change—estimates for climate costs range from $1 to $100 a ton of carbon dioxide emissions, but are so variable the report didn’t quantify them. The figure also doesn’t include other hidden costs, such as the portion of the U.S. military expenditure needed to protect global oil production and transport.

The report concludes that for a fraction of that $120 billion figure, climate legislation like the House’s recently-passed American Clean Energy & Security Act could improve our energy efficiency, boost clean energy and cut our global warming pollution.

The Senate is set to consider similar legislation next month. Please take a moment to tell your Senators to support the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Once you do, tell your friends — both in person and online. We can make a real difference to protect our wallets — and our wildlife!

Photo via Flickr’s Heather Mladek