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Center For Climate Strategies in Kansas: Good Economic Analysis?

As the Kansas Energy and Environmental Policy Advisory Group deliberates over the future of the environment in Kansas, we ought to examine the quality of the work product that the Center for Climate Strategies has produced in other states.

The Beacon Hill Institute has performed an analysis of some of the work CCS has performed, and the results are troubling. This press release contains a link to the study document. This study is short at six pages, and I would encourage you to read the entire document.

One of the things CCS does is to claim that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is actually good economic strategy, using cost-benefit analysis. The Beacon Hiss Institute report, however, finds three serious flaws with the methodology CCS used in its Arizona work. Specifically, CCS fails to quantify benefits meaningfully, misinterprets costs to be benefits, and its estimates of costs leave out important factors.

To me, the misinterpretation of costs as being benefits is a common mistake that these studies make. They often point to the jobs that will be created, as though that in itself is a good. But workers need to be paid, and often the source of that pay is not considered.

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