The Most Expensive Thing We Can Do is Nothing

Top economists agree: Blocking California’s clean energy law will be costly

On July 19, 2010, more than 100 Ph.D. economists with expertise in California energy and climate issues released an open letter warning against any delay in the implementation of California clean energy policies. The letter was organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

A broad array of the nation’s leading economists, including Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow, disagree with those who support suspending implementation of emission reduction policies. “Delaying action now,” the letter states, “will be more costly than initiating action now.”

The 118 economists who signed the letter support California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and the clean energy policies it requires, stating that these policies can “stimulate innovation and efficiency,” “help the state become a technological leader in the global marketplace,” “improve our energy security, create new business opportunities and more jobs,” and “provide immediate benefits to the health and welfare of residents by reducing local pollutants.”

Signed into law in 2006, AB 32 requires the California Air Resources Board to implement clean energy policies that require more energy efficient homes, buildings and vehicles; cleaner transportation fuels; increased reliance on renewable energy; and reductions in carbon pollution.

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