Nice Try II, ctd.

Ryan Avent responds to my post with a list of six objections. I’ll try to take each in turn:

First, it’s news because it’s the CBO.

Fair enough. A second organization has confirmed a cost estimate already produced by the EPA. A cost estimate, by the way, which was incorporated into a cost/benefit analysis at TAS that shows a very poor payout for Waxman-Markey.

Second, the cost overestimates have nothing to do with any underlying issue bias; as Brad Plumer notes, those favoring and opposing regulations both historically overestimate costs.

Presumably the same awareness of the track record of asserted prior under-estimation of environmental costs was available to both the EPA and CBO as they prepared their cost estimates. Unless we wish to assert that they are biased or simply irrational, why would we assume they failed to incorporate this information into their (very similar) forecasts of costs by 2020?

Third, the EPA report estimates a net present value cost of the legislation in 2050 at between $140 and $180 per household.

Not disputed, but also incorporated in and not contradictory to the prior cost/benefit analysis. Be wary of the counter-intuitiveness of present value calculations that are conducted over many years.

And fourth, these estimates don’t include the benefits of reduced warming.

Not disputed, but also incorporated in and not contradictory to the prior cost/benefit analysis.

And fifth, even Manzi’s stated cost is below the bunk cost estimates GOP legislators throw around.

Also, not disputed, at least in some cases. But, again, not contradictory to the cost/benefit analysis.

And sixth, Manzi still thinks we have no obligation to reduce our emissions, even though the costs associated with our carbon output will overwhelmingly be felt by the global poor, who are least able to do anything about it.

That’s not exactly true. I do not believe that we have an unlimited obligation to do this, as per numerous prior posts on this topic here at TAS.