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A critique of the House Republican climate policy proposals

March 24, 2020
By Benjamin Zycher

Proposals to fight climate change offered by House Republicans would have virtually zero effect on the climate but the costs would be high.

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives have offered a set of policy proposals to address the potential dangers of human-caused climate change. Specifically, Republicans propose two sets of policy initiatives: "(1) subsidies and other policy support for formal US participation in the international “trillion trees” initiative and (2) subsidies and other policy support for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide from enhanced oil recovery, from natural gas power production, and through direct extraction from the air."

While one may question the need for these proposals based, as they are, on alarmist assumptions about the human causes and dangerous impacts of climate change, the truth is “any plausible policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, whether implemented by the US alone or all nations collectively, would yield by 2100 climate effects effectively equal to zero. At the same time, the costs of such policies would be very large and inflicted disproportionately on the world’s poor.”