A pre-buttal to the Chamber of Commerce event in Detroit tomorrow…
Chamber of Chicken Littles
Posted by Pete
last several months, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been holding "State Climate Dialogues"
out in the states, ostensibly to "stimulate a national discussion on key
climate change issues." These are much more monologue than dialogue
though, and the punch line is pretty consistently a prediction of economic
disaster if the US Congress creates a serious climate policy.
Chamber's Chicken Littles stay on message, anyone attending this week's event
Michigan is likely to hear the same old message. But many
experts disagree with this view of gloom and doom.
instance, Dr. Martin Kushler, director of the Utilities Program at the American
Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, says:
claim that taking steps to address climate change would be bad for the economy
is simply not true. We know from proven experience that we can save
electricity through energy efficiency programs at one-third the cost of a new
power plant. With a strong energy efficiency policy we can save money and
reduce carbon emissions at the same time."
Andrew Hoffman, associate professor of management & organizations,
associate professor of natural resources and associate director of the Erb Institute
for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University
of Michigan, said:
of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as a market shift, one driven by
regulations at the city, state, national and international levels. But one also
driven by consumer, investor, insurance and energy markets. Any company
executive who ignores these shifts does so at their peril."
listen to a presentation by Drs. Kushler and Hoffman, me and Nancy Jacobs of
United Solar Ovonics here.
put, Detroit is
just the latest stop in the Chamber of Commerce's Chicken Little road show
to gin up worries about efforts to solve our energy and climate problems.
Speakers at these events rely on questionable assumptions and even more
questionable results to make their case.
point: David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation will be discussing the
potential costs of future legislative action. Earlier this year, Dr. Kreutzer
co-authored the study "The
economic costs of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Legislation" which is a
curious title because, contrary to its apparent meaning, the study didn't
actually model the Lieberman-Warner bill.
know this might cause some skepticism. After all, claiming to have analyzed a
particular bill when one actually hasn't, would be pretty poor scholarship.
But that's what Kreutzer and his team trotted out. Their product includes
some obvious clues, if you know where to look. Turns out that Kreutzer's team
- Only modeled limits on carbon dioxide, and
ignored other gases the L-W bill would have regulated.
- Ignored the provisions for offsets in the bill,
an important cost-containment mechanism.
- Ignored the energy-efficiency provisions in the
bill, another important cost-containment mechanism.
- Ignored credit banking and borrowing, (yep,
another important cost-containment mechanism.)
- Ignored more than a trillion dollars in
transition assistance for workers, industry and consumers (I don't need to
say it, do I?)
Kreutzer's team modeled something, but it wasn't the Lieberman-Warner bill.
Remember those kids in school who wrote book reports based on Cliff's Notes? I
wonder where they are now...
also drew some heat for his apparently total
failure to comprehend the Green
Recovery Report about which I've previously written.
rate, the U.S.
and Detroit Chambers of Commerce are trotting Kreutzer out to their audience
this week. We don't know who his audience will be, but I think their hosts are
betting that they like chicken.