Republicans Misrepresent Cost of Climate Bill

As the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) moves through Congress, its opponents are spamming the country's airwaves and inboxes in the hope of putting enough misinformation out into the world that the public will turn against the bill. The latest example is an email from the Republican Study Committee saying that centerpiece of the bill, an industry-wide cap on carbon emissions, will annually cost each America family $3,100. The only problem is that the claim isn't true.From the RSC on Monday, via Media Matters:

RSC: "Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will begin its markup on the Democrats National Energy Tax legislation. If you oppose $3,000 in new taxes for every American family, please let your representative know that American cannot afford this job-killing legislation." [RSC, 5/18/09]

Some in Congress have been peddling this lie for months, including House Republican Leader John Boehner, ever since a MIT study came out with an analysis of cap and trade. The report's author has since asked that his study not be misapplied.

From EDF:

Here's what John Reilly, the author of the MIT study, told Politifact about the NRCC's claim: "It's just wrong. It's wrong in so many ways it's hard to begin."

In two recent letters to House Republican Leader John Boehner, MIT's Reilly asked that the NRCC stop using the "misleading" figure, noting that MIT's estimates are less than one thirtieth of what the NRCC is claiming. "A correct estimate of that cost ... for the average household just in 2015 is about $80 per family, or $65 if more appropriately stated in present value terms discounted at an annual 4% rate," he said.

The EPA has weighed in as well. They analyzed ACES, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill, and said the bill would cost households less than $150 a year. Via the Wall Street Journal's excellent Environment Capitol blog:

According to Lisa Jackson’s number-crunching crew at EPA, households would pay between $98 and $140 a year through 2050 for overhauling the country’s energy landscape. Economy-wide, the impacts also seem pretty modest. It will take until 2030 for the national GDP to reach $22.6 trillion; if cap-and-trade is passed, that will just take three months longer.

More on cap and trade:
Democrats Introduce Huge Cap and Trade, Renewable Energy Bill to House
Cap and Trade Explained in Under Four Minutes (Video)

Tags: Coal | Congress | Energy | Pollution

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