Study: Taxes and Subsidies Don't Stop Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Study: Taxes and Subsidies Don't Stop Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A new study from the National Research Council reported on Thursday that the tens of billions of dollars President Obama has proposed in subsidies for “green energy” accomplish nothing in stopping the rise of greenhouse gases. The study suggests that the billions already spent on such energy have had virtually no impact whatsoever on US contributions to global carbon emissions, and won’t accomplish anything up to and including the year 2035.

The study took two years and $2 million, and studied the relationship between tax law and greenhouse gas reductions. While the Obama administration continues to push the notion that consensus has been reached on how to cure global warming, the NRC study was conducted by a 12-member National Academy of Sciences panel of experts including economists, energy specialists, environmentalists, tax specialists and climatologists. The study concluded that taxes and subsidies had a “combined impact [of] less than 1 percent of total US emissions….Very little if any GHG reductions are achieved at substantial cost with these provisions.”

The study continued, “current tax expenditures and subsidies are a poor tool for reducing greenhouse gases and achieving climate-change objectives.” When it comes to products like ethanol, subsidies have actually been counterproductive in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions: “although it may seem obvious that subsidizing biofuels should reduce CO2 emissions because they rely on renewable resources rather than fossil fuels, many studies we reviewed found the opposite.”

The feds have spent $48 billion over the last two years alone on such useless measures.


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