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The ‘National Climate Bank’ Con – The ‘climate’ projects envisioned would yield ‘impacts either trivial or undetectable’

by Ron Clutz


At a Hearing April 27, 2021: “Legislative Hearing on S.283, National Climate Bank Act”, Benjamin Zycher provided testimony Summarized at AEI: Statement submitted for the record: Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, Committee on Environment and Public Works.


This Statement Submitted for the Record offers a critical review of legislation proposed in the 117th Congress, 1st Session, as S. 283, The National Climate Bank Act (hereafter NCBA), the subject of a hearing scheduled for April 27, 2021 before the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. A summary of the arguments presented below is as follows:

A National Climate Bank, Congressional Accountability, and the Wasteful Use of Economic Resources A National Climate Bank Would Prove Costly,
Perverse in Terms of U.S. Political Institutions, and Would Advance No Useful Purpose
Benjamin Zycher – Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

  • A National Climate Bank cannot increase the capital resources available to the U.S. economy or to the federal government, and the true economic cost of the outlays envisioned to be made by the National Climate Bank would be almost double the national budget.
  • The “climate” projects envisioned for the National Climate Bank would be highly inefficient regardless of the assumptions made about climate phenomena and the current and prospective effects of greenhouse gas emissions. This is because the envisioned projects would yield future climate impacts either trivial or undetectable. This explains the failure of the proposed legislation to specify a requirement or to offer a projection of reductions in GHG emissions attendant upon the projects to be funded by the National Climate Bank.
  • The “Findings” in the proposed legislation on current climate phenomena are not supported by the evidence.
  • The “Findings” in the proposed legislation on future climate phenomena are based upon Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, an extreme scenario of future atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases virtually impossible.
  • Because the proponents of the National Climate Bank have based their analytic arguments in substantial part upon the findings and policy proposals presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its Special Report “Global Warming of 1.5°C,” they implicitly are endorsing a gasoline tax of $28 per gallon by 2030.
  • The obvious underlying purpose of the National Climate Bank is a shift of political responsibility for the inevitable financial losses to be incurred from the Congressional proponents of the legislation to the administrators of the National Climate Bank. Such a shift is inconsistent with the basic constitutional structure of American governance, and thus with essential accountability inherent in our political institutions.
  • The actual results of a National Climate Bank would be substantial resource waste, a less-productive capital stock, lower wages, and an increase in the politicization of economic activity.

Read  the full report  Zycher Statement Senate EPW climate bank

Climate Piggy Bank