Green gold in California?

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has published a report examining six scenarios under which the Golden State might implement AB 32, the “California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006,” which requires greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions to 1990 levels by 2020, and related policy measures.  

Proponents of these measures, which aim utlimately to reduce the State’s GHG emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, say it will strengthen California’s economy by making the State a world leader in environmental technology exports.

Although the EPRI report does not directly rebut this opinion, it suggests that costs will be significant, and will “increase more rapidly over time than do the emission reductions.”

A key finding: 

Although policies differ in cost per ton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions avoided, all policies that significantly reduce GHGs will entail costs to the California economy. These costs will appear as reductions in economic welfare, consumption, and Gross State Product (GSP). The cost of meeting the stated 2020 emission reduction goal could range from $104 billion to $367 billion of reduced consumption (discounted present value through 2050).