GDP Impacts of U.S. Energy-Climate Legislation

The above graph shows projected growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through 2030 under three different analyses of the energy-climate bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009. The analyses were conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Association of Manufacturers - American Council for Capital Formation (NAM-ACCF), and the Heritage Foundation, the latter two of which strongly opposed the bill. 

The top line in the graph shows EPA’s reference case, i.e., EPA’s projection of what GDP will look like if Congress does not enact a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. (ACCF-NAM and Heritage both projected a slightly lower reference case.) The next three lines show what EPA, ACCF-NAM and the Heritage Foundation project would happen to GDP under the House-passed bill. Even NAM-ACCF and Heritage projections show the House-passed bill having minimal effect on the growth of GDP. 

As shown in the inset, the EPA analysis projects that GDP will rise to slightly more than $24 trillion in 2030 without the House-passed bill. All three analyses project that GDP will reach this same level with only a few months delay if the House bill were enacted.  None of the analyses account for the economic benefits of avoiding climate change.


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