American Action Network's Facts Leave Voters In The Dark

October 19, 2010 9:53 am ET

The American Action Network is attacking Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) for supporting clean energy legislation. The ad casts Boucher as the "linchpin" for pass­ing the legislation in the House.  Unfortunately, not only is AAN wrong in attacking clean energy legislation, which will create millions of jobs and help to stave off the effects of climate change, but the attack on Boucher is vacuous and misguided.  Boucher, a 14-term congressman, is considered one of the coal industry's go-to guys in the Congress and actually inserted key provisions in the climate change bill to help coal producers in his district and state.

American Action Network: "In The Dark"

[On-screen text] Rick Boucher wants to keep you in the dark. About his Washington Cap and Trade deal.  Boucher sided with Nancy Pelosi. For billions in new energy taxes. That will kill thousands of Virginia jobs. But Rick Boucher didn't just vote for Cap and Trade. The Sierra Club called Boucher the "linchpin" of the entire deal.  Call Rick Boucher. Tell him no more deals. [Voiceover] American Action Network is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Clean Energy Legislation Would Cost Americans Less Than A Quarter A Day

Reuters: "Climate Legislation Moving Through Congress Would Have Only A Modest Impact On Consumers." According to Reuters: "A new U.S. government study on Tuesday adds to a growing list of experts concluding that climate legislation moving through Congress would have only a modest impact on consumers, adding around $100 to household costs in 2020. Under the climate legislation passed by the House of Representatives in June, electricity, heating oil and other bills for average families will rise $134 in 2020 and $339 in 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration, the country's top energy forecaster." [Reuters, 8/5/09]

EIA: Clean Energy Legislation Would Cost Only $0.23 Per Day. According to a House Energy and Commerce Committee factsheet of the Energy Information Administration's analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act: "The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has completed an analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives... The overall impact on the average household, including the benefit of many of the energy efficiency provisions in the legislation, would be 23 cents per day ($83 per year). This is consistent with analyses by the Congressional Budget Office which projects a cost of 48 cents per day ($175 per year) and the Environmental Protection Agency which projects a cost of 22 to 30 cents per day ($80 to $111 per year)." [House Energy and Commerce Committee, EIA's Economic Analysis Of "The American Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009," 8/4/09; emphasis original]

CBO: In 2020, Cap-And-Trade Will Only Cost An Average Of $175 Annually, "About A Postage Stamp A Day." In its analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Congressional Budget Office wrote: "On that basis, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the net annual economy wide cost of the cap-and-trade program in 2020 would be $22 billion-or about $175 per household." Rep. Edward Markey noted it was "the cost of about a postage stamp a day." [CBO, 6/19/09; House Committee on Energy & Commerce Release, 6/20/09]

Cap-And-Trade Would Decrease Energy Prices For Low-Income Americans. In its analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Congressional Budget Office wrote, "households in the lowest income quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020." [CBO, 6/19/09; emphasis original]

Clean Energy Legislation Would Have A Negligible Effect On Gas Prices

The American Clean Energy And Security Act Will Increase Gas Prices By Just Cents On The Dollar.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency: "The increase in gasoline prices that results from the carbon price ($0.13 in 2015, $0.25 in 2030, and $0.69 in 2050 under Scenario 2 - H.R. 2454) is not sufficient to substantially change consumer behavior in their vehicle miles traveled or vehicle purchases at the prices at which low GHG emitting automotive technologies can be produced." [EPA Analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 H.R. 2454 in the 111th Congress, pg 61, accessed 9/28/09; emphasis added]

New Fuel Efficiency Standards Would SAVE Drivers $3,000 On Gasoline.  According to USA Today: "The rules would phase in with 2012 models, when the current rules end, and escalate so that by the 2016 model year, the industry would have to average the equivalent of 35.5 miles per gallon. The administration estimates the rules would add an average of $1,100 to the price of a car but could save $3,000 on fuel over the vehicle's life." [USA Today, 9/16/09]

By 2025, A Clean Energy Standard Would Save $95 Billion On Energy & Gas Bills.  According to the Center for American Progress: "A national renewable electricity standard, a key piece of the clean energy legislation currently before Congress, would save households and businesses in every state billions of dollars in electricity and natural gas bills... The numbers come from the Union of Concerned Scientists, who earlier this year analyzed a renewable electricity standard that would aim to have 25 percent of our electricity come from renewable sources by 2025. They found that this standard would save families and businesses $95 billion in electricity and natural gas bills through 2030 and spur new investments and hundreds of thousands of new clean-energy jobs." [Center for American Progress, 5/19/09

Clean Energy Legislation Would Create Millions Of American Jobs And Boost The Economy

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Would Create Up To 1.9 Million American Jobs.  According to the University of California-Berkeley, "new analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

  • Virginia Would Gain 45,000 Jobs From An Investment In Clean Energy. According to the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, "Virginia could see a net increase of about $3.9 billion in investment revenue and 45,000 jobs based on its share of a total of $150 billion in clean-energy investments annually across the country. This is even after assuming a reduction in fossil fuel spending equivalent to the increase in clean-energy investments. Adding 45,000 jobs to the Virginia labor market in 2008 would have brought the state's unemployment rate down to 2.9 percent from its actual 2008 level of 4.0 percent." [Center for American Progress & Political Economy Research Institute, Clean-Energy Investments Create Jobs in Virginia, June 2009]

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Creates FOUR TIMES As Many Jobs As An Investment In Oil & Gas.  According to the Center for American Progress, "spending $1 million on energy efficiency and renewable energy produces a much larger expansion of employment than spending the same amount on fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Among fossil fuels, job creation in coal is about 32 percent greater than that for oil and natural gas. The employment creation for energy efficiency-retrofitting and mass transit-is 2.5 times to four times larger than that for oil and natural gas. With renewable energy, the job creation ranges between 2.5 times to three times more than that for oil and gas." [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

Boucher Was Cap-And-Trade "Linchpin" Because He Made Law Friendlier To The Coal Industry

VA Newspaper: Boucher Is "Viewed As A Go-To Guy For Coal" Industry. As the Bristol Herald Courier explains: "Boucher, often viewed as a go-to guy for coal in Congress, has spent a good deal of time explaining himself on [cap-and-trade]. He said his involvement was at the request of coal industry leaders, who asked that he work through the legislative process to get the best deal he could for coal. One of his political ads features Jim McGlothlin, one of the region's most recognizable coal industry leaders, saying that Boucher did the right thing." [Bristol Herald Courier, 10/18/10]

Boucher Helped Insert "Clean Coal" Technology Provisions Into Cap And Trade Bill. As Reuters reported: "Rep. Rick Boucher is no stranger to shrewdness. On behalf of the fossil fuel stranglehold on his home district, the Virginia Democrat forced his liberal colleagues to reconfigure the House climate bill until it included tens of millions of dollars for 'clean coal' technology." [Reuters, 9/20/10]

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