- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - An environment group is challenging claims that major reductions in greenhouse gases would lead to soaring energy costs.

The Union of Concerned Scientists says its analysis, using Energy Department computer models, show that higher electric and gasoline costs will be offset by improvements in energy and automobile efficiency.

It says while energy costs would increase at the outset, efficiency improvements will offset those increases fairly quickly with additional savings each year. It concludes that by 2030 the average household would have net energy savings of $900 a year.

The report was released Tuesday as the House began hearings on a proposed climate bill. Critics of the bill argue it will sharply increase energy costs.

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