NRCC Attacks Rep. Walz With Clean Energy Falsehoods

October 28, 2010 10:16 am ET

Clean energy legislation is the focus of the National Republican Congressional Committee's ad attacking Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN). The NRCC accuses Walz and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "making it worse" for struggling families by supporting cap-and-trade policies that would "hit farmers, small businesses and seniors hard." But clean energy legislation would boost the economy, create jobs, and help farmers, all while costing less than a quarter a day.

National Republican Congressional Committee: "Tim Walz Voted For It All"

Spending is out of control. Unemployment's high. Families are struggling. And Nancy Pelosi and Tim Walz are making it worse with a national energy tax that would hit farmers, small businesses and seniors hard. Reckless spending. An exploding national debt. And what do we have to show for it? Pain. Tim Walz voted for it all. To change direction, we need to change congressmen. The National Republican Congressional Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Clean Energy Legislation Will Help Farmers And Rural Communities

Clean Energy Legislation Could Triple Revenue Streams For Farmers. From the Center for American Progress:

Curbing global warming pollution now through comprehensive, bipartisan clean energy and climate legislation in Congress that establishes a price on carbon pollution will bring real financial benefits to farmers, while reducing America's dependence on oil and enhancing our overall competitiveness in agriculture and the wider economy.

Comprehensive clean energy and climate energy legislation will triple potential revenue streams for farmers and rural communities. Farmers can earn real money in at least three different ways in the new low-carbon economy. Farmers can receive new income for leasing wind turbines or providing land for other clean energy production, growing switchgrass or other feedstocks for advanced biofuels, and sequestering carbon under their crops and forestland.

Here are the facts:

  • The Department of Energy estimates that if 5 percent of the nation's energy comes from wind power by 2020, rural America could see $60 billion in capital investment. Farmers and rural landowners would derive $1.2 billion in new income and see 80,000 new jobs created over the next two decades.
  • A University of Tennessee and 25x25 study predicts that a well-designed carbon offsets trading system that pays farmers to conserve carbon through good soil and forest management practices will grow farm revenue by $13 billion a year.
  • Other producers will be able to receive matching payments through programs such as the Biomass Crop Assistance Program that promote growing energy crops and biomass to feed the nation's need for advanced biofuels and lessen our dependence on oil.

[Center for American Progress, 4/23/10, emphasis added]

The American Clean Energy And Security Act Would Have Protected Rural Families Against Higher Energy Costs. From the Center for American Progress: "H.R. 2454 provides for a monthly cash energy refund for rural consumers experiencing a loss in purchasing power due to energy costs. (Title IV, Section 432)." [Center for American Progress, 6/11/09; in-text citation original]

House Energy Bill Would Have Saved Farmers Money With Tax Credits For Energy Efficiency. From the Center for American Progress:

The energy efficiency standard in H.R. 2454 provides farmers with the opportunity to make significant energy efficiency upgrades. Farmers are eligible for federal tax credits for energy-efficient appliances to help them reduce energy use. Dairy farms, which use more energy than most farms due to the energy-intensive nature of milk production, could in particular benefit from the savings from using energy more efficiently. Installation of energy-efficient lighting, ventilation fans, and milking systems could save a farmer hundreds of dollars a year.

Energy expenditures represent 6 percent of total national farm production costs, costing farmers over $10 billion per year. Recent increases in oil prices and volatility will make energy costs even more of a burden for farmers.

[Center for American Progress, 6/11/09]

If The House Energy Bill Had Passed, Farmers Would Have Benefited From The Chance To Sell $24 Billion Annually In Carbon Offsets. From the Center for American Progress: "H.R. 2454 establishes a carbon offsets market that would allow farmers to create and sell carbon offsets to polluting entities in lieu of reductions by polluters. This would reduce the cost of emissions reductions for polluters. Farmers would be paid for their longstanding carbon sequestration and land stewardship efforts. By increasing carbon sequestration and reducing emissions from greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide on the farm, farmers can qualify for carbon offsets that would generate increased farm revenue. The Energy Information Administration has estimated the value of agricultural offsets to be close to $24 billion annually." [Center for American Progress, 6/11/09, emphasis added]

Small Business Owners Favor Clean Energy Legislation

Poll: Most Small Business Owners Support Climate Legislation. From the Huffington Post:

Just out today: A new bi-partisan poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and American Viewpoint showing strong support among small business owners for clean energy and climate legislation. The survey, which included interviews with 800 small business owners, is one of the first (or maybe the first) to look specifically at small business owners' attitudes regarding clean energy policies.

Key findings include the fact that a majority of small business owners believe that clean energy legislation will strengthen the economy:

  • 61 percent of small business owners agree that moving the country to clean energy is a way to restart the economy and help small businesses create jobs; and
  • 58 percent think that adopting new energy policies will transform the economy and they want their business to be part of it.

[Huffington Post, 6/9/10, emphasis original]

Clean Energy Legislation Would Boost The Economy...

Clean Energy Legislation Would Boost GDP By Up To $111 Billion. According to the University of California-Berkeley: "Comprehensive clean energy and climate protection legislation, like the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) that was passed by the House of Representatives in June, would strengthen the U.S. economy by establishing pollution limits and incentives that together will drive large-scale investments in clean energy and energy efficiency...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 ... boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion. These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

Clean Energy Legislation Would Boost Household Income By Nearly $1,200 Per Year. According to the University of California-Berkeley: "Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs, increase annual household income by $487-$1,175 per year. ... These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10] 

... Create Millions Of Jobs Across The Country...

Minnesota Will Gain 30,000 Jobs From An Investment In Clean Energy Technologies. According to the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, "Minnesota could see a net increase of about $2.7 billion in investment revenue and 30,000 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 30,000 jobs to the Minnesota labor market in 2008 would have brought the state's unemployment rate down to 4.4 percent from its actual 2008 level of 5.4 percent." [Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, Clean-Energy Investments Create Jobs In Minnesota, 6/17/09]

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]

...And Cost 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." [Reuters8/5/09]

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]

The Exploding Debt And Deficit Are The Result Of Bush-Era Policies And The Recession

Before Obama Took Office, The FY 2009 Deficit Was Projected At $1.2 Trillion. As reported by the Washington Times: "The Congressional Budget Office announced a projected fiscal 2009 deficit of $1.2 trillion even if Congress doesn't enact any new programs. [...] About the only person who was silent on the deficit projection was Mr. Bush, who took office facing a surplus but who saw spending balloon and the country notch the highest deficits on record." [Washington Times1/8/09, emphasis added]

CBPP: Deficit Grew By $3 TRILLION Because Of Policies Passed From 2001 To 2007. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "Congressional Budget Office data show that the tax cuts have been the single largest contributor to the reemergence of substantial budget deficits in recent years. Legislation enacted since 2001 added about $3.0 trillion to deficits between 2001 and 2007, with nearly half of this deterioration in the budget due to the tax cuts (about a third was due to increases in security spending, and about a sixth to increases in domestic spending)." [CBPP.org, accessed 1/31/10, parentheses original]

The Bush Tax Cuts Are The Primary Driver Of Federal Budget Deficits Over The Next Decade. Below is a chart from CBPP showing the deficit impacts of war spending, financial recovery spending, the recession itself, and the Bush tax cuts:

CBPP

[CBPP.org, 6/28/10]

Public And Foreign-Held Debt Skyrocketed While Bush Was In Office. Below are two graphs prepared by the Speaker's office showing the increase of publicly and foreign-held debt during the years Bush was in office:

bushpublicdebt

bushforeigndebt

[U.S. Treasury via The Gavel, 6/11/10]

Print