The Peterson Institute for International Economics released the first comprehensive study of American Power Act proposed last week by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), finding that it would create 220,000 and cut greenhouse gas emissions 22% below 2005 levels by 2020.
"Assessing the American Power Act" employs the Department of Energy's National Energy Modeling System to forecast the legislation's economic, employment, energy security, and environmental impact through 2030. Key findings of the study include:
- Energy Sector Changes: The American Power Act would significantly alter the way the United States produces and consumes energy. The share of total energy demand met by fossil fuels would fall from 84% today to 70% in 2030. Renewable and nuclear energy would grow from 8% each of US energy supply today to 16% 14% respectively in 2030.
- Energy Security Implications: The Act would reduce US oil imports by 33% to 40% below current levels and 9% to 19% below business-as-usual by 2030. This would cut US spending on imported oil by $51 to $93 billion per year and, by lowering global oil prices, reduce oil producer revenues by $263 to $436 billion annually by 2030.
- Environmental Impact: The Act would establish an economy-wide carbon price starting at $16.47 per ton in 2013 and growing to $55.44 dollars per ton in 2030, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from covered sources 22% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 42% by 2030.
- Employment Effects: The Act prompts $41.1 billion in annual electricity sector investment between 2011 and 2030, $22.5 billion more than under business-as-usual. This stimulates US economic growth and job creation in the first decade, increasing average annual employment by about 200,000 jobs.
- Impact on Consumers: By pricing carbon, the American Power Act raises the price of fossil fuels for businesses and consumers. Households see an average 3% increase in electricity rates and 5% increase in gasoline prices between 2011 and 2030. Energy efficiency improvements largely offset these energy price increases--households see somewhere between a $136 increase and a $35 decrease in average annual energy expenditures, depending on future improvements in vehicle efficiency.
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