The climate and energy plan from Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., would have a "relatively modest impact" on consumers, according to an EPA analysis made public today.
The average annual cost to households would be between $79 and $146, which includes higher prices for energy, and other goods and services, as well as "impacts on wages and returns to capital." This does not reflect any benefits of avoiding the effects of climate change, according to the 74-page analysis EPA delivered to Kerry and Lieberman Monday.
EPA determined a year ago that the annual household cost of then-pending House climate and energy legislation would be between $80 and $111.
Kerry's office released the analysis today in anticipation of a public rollout by the two senators this afternoon.
EPA's findings confirmed what supporters of the Kerry-Lieberman effort hoped for and expected. Those wary of setting aggressive limits on greenhouse gas emissions are awaiting a cost analysis being worked on by the Energy Information Administration.
It is unclear whether EPA's analysis will have much of an impact on breaking a logjam within the Senate Democratic caucus on what is the most viable scope for addressing climate and energy issues this year.
While Kerry and Lieberman have distanced themselves from a House-passed economywide cap-and-trade plan as they seek 60 votes in a more politically difficult Senate, EPA said the "modeled impacts" of the two are very similar.
The percentage reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are identical beginning in 2013, and both bills aim to prevent job and emission leakage to developing nations. However, the Kerry-Lieberman plan offers more price certainty than the House bill, according to the analysis.
This article appears in the June 19, 2010 edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.