The Waxman-Markey climate bill passed the House on Friday, but it still has to face the Senate and the changes that body may require. There has been a lot of controversy over the many aspects of the bill, particularly relating to the coal industry, cap and trade and whether it's strong enough legislation to make a difference, but the lovely people over at the NRDC have pointed out one glowingly positive element of the bill. They've calculated that the bill will end up saving American households an average of $13.93 a month on gas.
The bill includes funding for fuel-efficient vehicles, which, in addition to the fuel efficiency standards already adopted, the NRDC calculates will lead to a 25 percent increase in fuel efficiency by 2020. So, even with rising gas prices, the increase in fuel efficiency will still slash our monthly gas bills. The group estimates the monthly savings for each state, and they range from $5.50 a month to more than $23 a month. I'm lucky enough to live in a state where I could see savings of almost $22 a month.
An interesting thing to point out is that these gas savings almost negate the cost of the bill for the average family, which is estimated to be $175 per year by the US Budget Office. The decrease in gas spending will save the average family about $167 a year, meaning the bill will only cost $8 a year per family. Families in some states will actually see a net gain.
It's easy to listen to all the pundits and all the partisan opinions on this legislation and to be discouraged, but I appreciate the NRDC putting at least part of it into perspective. Fighting climate change will require money and sacrifices, but there will be a whole host of ways in which it will pay off. In this case, in cash.
written by The Author, June 29, 2009
|< Prev||Next >|