Connecticut Bill Aims at Slowing State Economy

by William Yeatman on March 30, 2004

in Kyoto Negotiations, Politics

The Connecticut state legislature is currently considering SB.595, which aims to reduce the states greenhouse gas emissions using Kyoto-like measures.  The bill has passed out of a joint committee and has the backing of the Governor.  Section 3 of the bill seeks to mandate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010; 10% below 1990 levels by 2020; and 75% to 85% below 2001 levels by 2050 (unless another year is set). 

 A study by Charles River Associates for the American Legislative Exchange Council brings home the effects of the bill on the quality of life of Connecticut residents.  The study finds, A conservative estimate is that costs per Connecticut household of meeting these caps would be between $700 and $1300 per year over the next three decades, accompanied by the loss of about 20,000 jobs.  Connecticuts state product would be reduced by about 1.3% from baseline levels by 2020, and these losses would either remain stable or grow, depending on whether costs of sequestration level decline or remain constant.  The states budget problems would be worsened, with lower wages and incomes leading to a loss in tax collections of about $250 million per year by 2010.  Moreover, the bill would directly impose costs on the state to set up the trading system, and would raise energy costs for state and local governments.

Lewis Andrews of the Yankee Institute in Connecticut goes further, saying in an op-ed that the bill could cost Connecticut as much as $8.1 billion.  He concludes, Connecticut facing record budget deficits due to lower-than-expected revenues in 2002 and 2003 should not adopt an overly ambitious greenhouse gas reduction program that costs taxpayer dollars, destroys jobs, and does nothing to protect the environment.

 Copies of the Charles River Associates study are available by request from the American Legislative Exchange Council (

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