President Obama’s global warming plan would cost America’s poorest families billions annually, according to a report published Thursday by the Manhattan Institute.
The study estimates that Obama’s global warming plan would increase the costs of living for the poorest American families an additional $19 billion per year, equivalent to increasing their taxes by 166 percent. The tax increase would also raise taxes on other poor families by an extra $25 billion, equal to a 33 percent tax increase. Living costs for the richest households would only increase by 4 percent.
Obama wants to implement the Enviromental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which would effectively tax four-fifths of American carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and be similar in scope to an economy-wide carbon tax. In addition, Obama has proposed a $10.25-per-barrel oil tax.
Neither plan would have a large impact on global warming. Data modeling created by the EPA and run by the libertarian Cato Institute shows that the Clean Power Plan would only have adverted 0.019° Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it couldn’t be detected.
“The greatest tragedy of the Democrats’ climate agenda is not how little it will accomplish but rather how costly it will be for those least able to afford it,” Oren Cass, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute who authored the study, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The study determined that taxing CO2 emissions or gasoline inherently hurts the poor more than the rich because the lowest-income U.S. households spend roughly 35 percent of their annual income on energy, while the highest income households spent less than 3 percent of their income on energy.
Though the study is based on projections of future tax increases, the average American’s electric bill has gone up 10 percent since Obama took office in January, 2009, due to federal regulations.
The amount spent to meet global carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals could be as high as $16.5 trillion between now and 2030, when energy efficiency measures are included, according to projections from the International Energy Agency. To put these numbers in perspective, the U.S. government is just over $19 trillion in debt and only produced $17.4 trillion in gross domestic product in 2014.
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