Bloomberg is reporting Barack Obama “will classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant that can be regulated.” As we have reported repeatedly in the past, such a decision would trigger numerous regulatory actions pursuant to the Clean Air Act and empower the Environmental Protection Agency to centrally plan the entire economy.

Since the EPA published its proposed carbon capping plan this summer, the Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis has been using the widely respected Global Insight’s U.S. Macroeconomic Model of the American economy to estimate the economic impacts of CO2 regulations. CDA’s report is not yet finalized, but so far it has found that a decision by a future administration to regulate carbon pursuant to the Clean Air Act would:

  • Reduce aggregate gross domestic product by $6.9 trillion by 2029.
  • Reduce employment in the manufacturing sector by 2.9 million jobs by 2029.
  • Reduce employment in:
    • Mining by 7.4%;
    • Transportation and warehousing by 17%;
    • Durable manufacturing by 28%;
    • Textile mills by 28%;
    • Paper and paper products by 36%;
    • Plastics and rubber products by 54%;
    • Machinery manufacturing by 57%.

The study measures only the likely impacts through 2029, at which point CO2 will have been cut by 31% below the 2005 level. The ultimate CO2 reduction target will likely exceed 70% by 2050. This will add much more to the total economic burden of the regulation.

Tell the EPA what you think of their carbon capping plans here.