Because we aren’t digging a deep enough hole:
President Obama’s climate plan could cost industry close to $2 trillion, nearly three times the White House’s initial estimate of the so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation, according to Senate staffers who were briefed by the White House.
A top economic aide to Mr. Obama told a group of Senate staffers last month that the president’s climate-change plan would surely raise more than the $646 billion over eight years the White House had estimated publicly, according to multiple a number of staffers who attended the briefing Feb. 26.
“We all looked at each other like, ‘Wow, that’s a big number,'” said a top Republican staffer who attended the meeting along with between 50 and 60 other Democratic and Republican congressional aides.
The plan seeks to reduce pollution by setting a limit on carbon emissions and allowing businesses and groups to buy allowances, although exact details have not been released.
At the meeting, Jason Furman, a top Obama staffer, estimated that the president’s cap-and-trade program could cost up to three times as much as the administration’s early estimate of $646 billion over eight years. A study of an earlier cap-and-trade bill co-sponsored by Mr. Obama when he was a senator estimated the cost could top $366 billion a year by 2015.
A White House official did not confirm the large estimate, saying only that Obama aides previously had noted that the $646 billion estimate was “conservative.”