So, everyone is turned on to the CBO costing of W-M, which is good. Two other points. First, as Brad Plumer notes, we have practically always overestimated the cost of environmental regulation in the past, primarily because we’ve underestimated the economy’s ability to adjust and innovate and so on.
Second, and I should have emphasized this originally, these net cost estimates do not include the benefits of slowing warming, which is of course the main goal of the bill. Now, critics might counter that W-M isn’t expected to have much of an effect on temperatures through 2050, but that outlook sort of assumes that American climate policy never changes beyond what’s in W-M, which is highly unlikely, and it ignores the effect an American climate law will have in Copenhagen and in negotiations with other emerging markets.