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Conservatives &Fiscal Policy &Junk Science Richard Falknor on 17 Dec 2008 04:52 pm

Think Tank Drowns Claims of Maryland Green Scheme

The respected Beacon Hill Institute in Boston has made available its “Peer Review –Maryland Commission on Climate Change Climate Action Plan” here.

The “Peer Review” gives us some handy background —

“Gov. Martin O’Malley signed Executive Order 01.01.2007.07 in April 2007 establishing the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (MCCC) with the mandate to produce a Climate Action Plan (CAP). MCCC partnered with the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) to develop recommendations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in Maryland and to estimate the costs and benefits of their recommendations.

The Beacon Hill Institute has previously reviewed the cost-benefit methodology employed by CCS in four other states: Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, and North Carolina. The Institute found three serious problems with the CCS cost-benefit analyses:

1. CCS failed to quantify benefits in a way that they can be meaningfully compared to costs;
2. When estimating economic impacts, CCS often misinterpreted costs to be benefits; and
3. The estimates of costs left out important factors, causing CCS to understate the true costs of its recommendations.

Unfortunately for Maryland policy makers, these same three problems plague the CAP report, rendering it unsuitable for making any informed policy decisions.” 

With 42 recommended policy actions to reduce GHG emissions, the CAP report covers five areas: agriculture, forestry, and waste; energy supply; residential, commercial, and industrial; transportation and land use; and cross-cutting issues.

But according to the Beacon Hill Institute‘s review:

“The CAP report gives the impression that state policy makers can have their cake and eat it too: that Maryland can simultaneously replace GHG emissions and produce net cost savings for the state’s economy. Unfortunately, the seriously flawed nature of the report undermines these conclusions.”

Paul Chesser, director of Climate Strategies Watch, is the moving force in exposing these state “climate action plans” and bringing them under the scrutiny of economic analysis. He points us to this report’s conclusion —

“For policymakers, the CAP report offers no worthwhile guidance. The report fails to quantify the monetary benefits of reduced GHG emissions rendering its cost savings estimates implausible if not downright unbelievable. The faulty analysis contained in the CAP report leaves policymakers with no basis on which to judge the merits of the CAP report’s recommendations for action on the mitigation of GHG emissions.” (Underscoring Forum’s throughout.)

Conservatives should take active steps to ensure that prosperity-friendly state legislators read the entire 8-page expose here.


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