Photo via Cleveland
Believe it or not, it gives me no pleasure to indulge in what some will inevitably construe as partisan attacks. But when opponents of climate change legislation--Republicans or Democrats--are willfully distorting the facts to support their case, the matter needs to be addressed. Case in point: the GOP is publicly claiming that climate change legislation would cost each American family more than $3,100 a year, citing research done by MIT. Thing is, the very researcher who conducted the study personally contacted the GOP, alerting them to the fact that his findings clearly state that the cost to families would only be $340 a year. So what did the GOP do?
According to Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo, who personally talked to Michael Steel, the spokesman for Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner, the GOP is standing by its distortion of the MIT study.
"We stand by our analysis," said Steel.
This is baffling.
A quick recap: MIT Researcher submits a study to the House GOP. GOP extracts a figure of $3,128 for how much climate legislation would cost every American family. MIT Researcher tells the GOP that's not the case. GOP stands by its now disproved, entirely meaningless figure.
Then they incorporate the figure into the party's message in an attempt to sway public opinion against the important legislation. What's more, the GOP doesn't deny that the exchange with the researcher took place—they're publicly saying that it's simply a difference of opinion on the findings of the study. Between the people who read the study and the person who authored it.
Perhaps the GOP is well aware that the majority of Americans want the government to tackle climate change, and has resorted to desperate measures to support their stance. I understand that some may have reservations about passing climate legislation--the idea may seem daunting, especially during a time of great financial crisis—but this is just fighting dirty.
More on GOP and Climate Change:
Republican Leader Michael Steele is a Climate Change Denier
Fred Thompson, Soon-to-Be GOP Candidate, on Climate Change
What Role Will EPA Play In Climate Action? GOP Strategy Announced