Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New UCS National Blueprint For A Clean Energy Economy

May 19: According to the findings of a two-year, peer-reviewed study by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), with the right policies in place, the United States could dramatically cut the heat-trapping emissions that cause global warming and, at the same time, lower energy costs in every region of the country. UCS President Kevin Knobloch said, "We can protect the environment and Americans' pocketbooks by adopting the right policies. Our analysis shows we have the technology and the know-how to do this. What we now need is the political will."

The report, Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy, used a modified version of the Department of Energy's National Energy Modeling System and concluded that the United States could meet an emissions-reduction cap of 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 56 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The average U.S. household would realize net savings of $300 in 2020 and $900 in 2030, while businesses collectively would see net savings of $35 billion in 2020 and nearly $130 billion in 2030. Collectively, households and businesses would see net savings of $255 billion in 2030.

UCS found that implementing a cap on emissions with a suite of energy and transportation policies would trigger investments in efficiency improvements, renewable energy technologies, clean vehicles, better transportation choices, and low-carbon technologies and fuels. Household and business savings on transportation fuel costs and on electricity, natural gas and heating oil bills would more than offset those investments and any rise in energy prices.

UCS calculated net savings for nine regions of the country, basing the geographic designations on the Department of Energy's modeling system. As an example, in the East North Central region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, the UCS blueprint’s combined policies would provide net savings of $213 for the average household in 2020 and $808 in 2030. Businesses in the region collectively would save $2.2 billion in 2020 and $15.8 billion in 2030.

Access a lengthy release and links to various regional analyses (
click here). Access an overview and links to an executive summary and the complete 239-page report and more (click here).