Bernie Sanders

Post image for 400,000 Lost Jobs by 2016 — Heritage Study of Boxer-Sanders Carbon Tax Proposal

Heritage Foundation analysts David Kreutzer and Kevin Dayaratna yesterday released a study on the economic impact of carbon tax legislation (the Climate Security Act of 2013) sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The Boxer-Sanders legislation would establish a new tax that starts at $20 per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted and increases by 5.6% annually.

As Kreutzer and Dayaratna point out, hydrocarbon fuels supply 85% of all the energy Americans use, and “basic chemistry” dictates that CO2 will be emitted when those fuels are oxydized (burned) to release energy. The economic implications of those facts are significant and unavoidable:

Therefore, a tax on CO2 would be a tax on the 85 percent of energy derived from hydrocarbons and would increase energy costs broadly. The higher energy costs would ripple through the economy, driving up costs of production of virtually all goods and services. Faced with higher costs for energy and other goods, consumers would cut consumption, translating into a reduction in sales and a marked decline in employment. Though rebating the tax partially offsets these impacts, there would still be a net loss of income and jobs.

Using an energy model derived from the Energy Information Administration’s National Energy Model System (NEMS), the Heritage scholars calculate that, compared to a no-carbon tax baseline, the Boxer-Sanders proposal would:

  • Reduce the income of a family of four by more than $1,000 per year.
  • Reduce employment by more than 400,000 jobs in 2016.
  • Decrease coal production by 60% and coal employment by more than 40% by 2030.
  • Decrease employment 10.4% and 20.9% in the iron and steel and aluminum industries, respectively, by 2030.
  • Increase gasoline prices $0.20 by 2016 and $0.30 before 2030.
  • Increase electricity prices 20% by 2017 and more than 30% by 2030
  • Increase federal taxes by $3 trillion through 2030.
  • Reduce GDP by $92 billion in 2020 and $146 billion in 2030.
  • Decrease projected global warming by, at most, 0.11C by 2100 [probably too little to be reliably detected]. [click to continue…]
Post image for Keystone XL Pipeline: Alleged Conflict of Interest Much Ado about Nothing?

Blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline — the $7 billion, 1,700-mile project that could create 20,000 construction jobs and eventually transport 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil from friendly, stable, democratic Canada to hubs in Oklahoma and Texas — has become the environmental movement’s top agenda item.

This is not surprising, because Canada’s booming oil sands industry demolishes two popular narratives of green ideology — the claim that oil is a dwindling resource from which we must rapidly decouple our economy before supplies run out, and the notion that most of the money we spend on gasoline ends up in the coffers of unsavory regimes like Saudi Arabia. In reality, more than half of all the oil we consume is produced in the USA, and we get more than twice as much oil from Canada as from Saudi Arabia.

Much of the anti-Keystone agitation is vintage ’60s stuff. In late August, during a weeks-long protest rally outside the White House, 800 demonstrators (including celebrities Margot Kidder and Daryl Hannah) were handcuffed and bused to local police stations. In late September, more than 100 demonstrators were arrested trying to enter Canada’s House of Commons. In October, 1,000 protesters showed up outside President Obama’s $5,000-a-head fundraiser in San Francisco, and organizers claim 6,000 demonstrators will encircle the White House on Sunday, Nov. 6.

Meanwhile, oil bashers on Capitol Hill are engaging in some political theater of their own. Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), two other senators, and 11 congressmen requested that the State Department’s inspector general (IG) investigate an apparent conflict of interest in the preparation of State’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Sanders et al. point out that Cardno/Entrix, the firm State commissioned to conduct the EIS, listed TransCanada, the corportion proposing to build the pipeline, as a “major client.” This “financial relationship,” they suggest, could lead Cardno/Entrix to low-ball the project’s environmental risks. They even insinuate that Cardno/Entrix may have understated oil spill risk just so it could later get paid by TransCanada to clean up the mess.

Earlier this week, State responded to Sanders et al. As far as I can see, there’s no there, there.

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