Embarrassingly Bad Economics of the Center for Climate Strategies

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on January 17, 2008

in Blog

Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch

It’s official: the so-called economic analysis that the Center for Climate Strategies is feeding to state governments is junk, which is what you would expect since their study does not quantify the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and they repeatedly misidentify costs as benefits.

Those are just some of the findings reached by the Beacon Hill Institute, who this week released a peer review study of the methodology used by CCS (and the North Carolina Climate Action Plan Advisory Group) in producing 56 recommendations for the state to act on reducing CO2 emissions. BHI did the study, in addition to a review of another economic model used by CCS (more garbage in, garbage out) to evaluate job impacts, and an earlier review that scrutinized CCS’s findings in Arizona, at the request of the John Locke Foundation. Here is the sobering assessment by BHI’s PhD economist Ben Powell, who wrote this week’s report:

The 56 global warming policy proposals now under consideration for North Carolina include ideas that would increase taxes, restrict land use, ration energy use, and raise energy costs.

“Surprisingly, the NC-CAPAG report claims that the implementation of these measures would bring ‘significant cost savings for the State’s economy,’” Powell wrote. “The NC-CAPAG report gives the impression that the state policy makers can have their cake and eat it, too, and that North Carolina can both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time actually save the economy money. Unfortunately, the seriously flawed nature of the report undermines these conclusions.”

“NC-CAPAG’s cost savings estimates are not just wildly optimistic; they are the product of a purely fictitious analysis,” Powell wrote. “Its cost savings estimates cannot be believed, and it fails to quantify the monetary benefits of reduced carbon emissions. Thus policy makers are left with no basis on which to judge the merits of the NC-CAPAG report’s recommendations for action on the mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases.”


Finally someone is looking at the real costs (huge) compared to the alleged benefits (unidentified and not quantified) being claimed by the environmental left. Of course, it’s tough to apply statistical analysis when the only goal is to feel good about yourself.

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