UCS at Chamber of Commerce Presentation Against Climate Legislation in New Hampshire

Posted by Brad Johnson Sat, 15 Mar 2008 17:17:00 GMT

The Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth (AEEG) (an industry coalition organized in 2001 to support the administration’s Energy Task Force efforts), the National Association of Manufacturers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are hosting a series of state climate change dialogues in 2008 in Ohio, New Hampshire, Montana, and North Dakota, with Margo Thorning of the American Council for Capital Formation, a conservative corporate think tank. The first such forum was held in Manchester, NH on Wednesday, March 12.

Jim Rubens, of the Union of Concerned Scientists attended the event. Below is his story of what transpired, a Hill Heat exclusive.
The American Council for Capital Formation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – fronting for coal, oil and the fossil-heavy utilities – last Wednesday road tested their forum on what they claim are the dire economic consequences of the Lieberman-Warner climate bill. It was train wreck I am certain they will not want repeated.

First, in response to a letter from 8 utility CEOs asking that exaggerations be removed from the Charles River Associates analysis forming the basis for the phony projections, lead ExxonMobil-funded economist Dr Margo Thorning announced that no specific impact numbers would be provided. We’d need to wait to see the new, even more slanted ACCF-sponsored study due to be released the next day.

Next, a couple of global warming denialists in the audience asked the Chamber rep why the nation’s business lobby was buying into the need for anything at all to be done, given that glaciers are growing worldwide, Mars is getting colder, etc. The response: the IPCC report is in, and attacking the science is no longer politically tenable. Subtext read in the facial expressions from the dais: we’d love to, but we’re stuck now fear mongering the economics of an American energy future of stable prices, domestic job growth, and intact Florida coastlines.

Next, Tufts economist Dr Julie Nelson asked Dr. Thorning whether the new ACCF-sponsored analysis would be any better than the CRA version, allowing peer review, disclosing assumptions, etc, like all the competing 25 climate-economy models which project only very modest impacts. Answer: an embarrassed no.

Next, yours truly asked Dr. Thorning whether the ACCF analysis – to correct the CRA’s failings – would model the costs of projected warming under the business as usual or baseline scenario at greater than zero, given that New Hampshire’s $650 million ski industry will be wiped out by 2100, or would assign a return greater than zero to stepped-up efficiency and conservation investments, or a value greater than zero for future energy technology innovation. Answer: another hang-dog faced no. Given the lack of data, there is no way to assign any number, she said.

I then asked Dr. Thorning whether it would therefore be fair to footnote the baseline scenario GDP and energy cost numbers, with a statement to the effect that the predicted cost of L-W is high because the baseline number is likely to be low, in that the cost of global warming under business as usual is greater than zero. She acknowledged some merit to that before quickly retreating from the room to work her cell phone.

Recommendations for the three future ACCF fora: be sure to have credible economists and clean energy and efficiency experts and developers in the room. Call them on every false, exaggerated and unsupported statement. Talk about what American entrepreneurs are doing right now in the states where the fora are held to make the American economy stronger while reducing the risks of future climate change. Make sure the media is present to witness it.

New Study Highlighting the National and 50-State Economic Impacts of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 12 Mar 2008 14:00:00 GMT

A media conference call to discuss the findings of a study jointly commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) that quantifies the potential national and state economic impacts of the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill, S. 2191, the America’s Climate Security Act of 2007.

Conducted by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the independent study examines the implications of the legislation with respect to future energy costs, economic growth, employment, production, household income and the impact on low income earners. The study includes a comprehensive national economic assessment, as well as separate and specific overviews of the impact the legislation would have on all 50 U.S. states.

The results of the study will be outlined during a brief presentation which will be followed by a question and answer session. The full SAIC national and 50 state-specific studies will be posted online at 9:30 am ET, Thursday, March 13, in advance and can be found at either www.accf.org or www.nam.org/climatechangereport.

The call is for credentialed media only.

  • The Honorable John Engler, President, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Dr. Margo Thorning, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, American Council for Capital Formation

Dial-In Number: 1-800-857-9772

Passcode: 4174983

Contact: For additional information or to request an interview, please contact Erica Fitzsimmons

202-347-7445 – efitzsimmons@theheraldgroup.com

About NAM

The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation’s largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country.

About ACCF

The American Council for Capital Formation (www.accf.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the advocacy of tax and environmental policies that encourage saving and investment. The ACCF was founded in 1973 and is supported by the voluntary contributions of corporations, associations, foundations, and individuals.