GOP Blog Pushes Right-Wing Post On Cap-And-Trade

June 10, 2009 11:30 am ET — Kaitlyn Golda

It's a case study in the perpetuation of misinformation. On June 10, 2009 linked to a right-wing blog's "interview" with Rep. Lee Terry on cap-and-trade, a post which contained plenty of falsehoods but no direct quotes or supporting evidence.

Let Freedom Ring: Gossip And Innuendo Endorsed By The GOP

Let Freedom Ring's "interview" with Rep. Terry, which has been promoted by the House Republican Conference, contained more rumors and innuendo than facts. According to LFR:

He said that David Sokol's testimony put the Democrats on the defensive.

Rep. Terry also made mention of the fact that the Blue Dogs had either been bought off or they were threatened into supporting this legislation.

What he was sure of is that alot [sic] of additional allowances were given on a purely political basis to buy Democratic votes.

While these are fascinating assertions - Democrats were threatened into supporting a bill? - they are completely baseless. Given that Rep. Terry is never directly quoted, the post might be easily dismissed had the GOP not actively promoted it.

Let Freedom Ring: No Quotes, No Evidence, No Facts

Rep. Terry's outright falsehoods on cap-and-trade and the bill are appalling.

On the issue of science, I asked whether CO2 was considered a pollutant prior to the writing of this bill. Rep. Terry said one of the provisions in the bill is to designate CO2 as a pollutant.

Rep. Terry is incorrect. The Supreme Court declared CO2 a pollutant in 2007 and gave the EPA the right to regulate it. Rep. Terry's home state of Nebraska supported the EPA in its efforts to regulate C02 and ten states already use cap-and-trade to limit CO2 emissions.

I asked whether the committee used a formula to determine their caps. Rep. Terry confirmed that that hadn't happened.

One wonders if Rep. Terry has read the bill, which contains very specific formulas for each and every cap, as well as for allowances and offsets, designed to lower pollution.

I asked Rep. Terry if he agreed that, at this point, green energy was an expensive form of energy. Rep. Terry strongly agreed with that.

As MMAN has noted, clean energy will save billions of dollars over just the next 15 years. Rep. Terry's home state of Nebraska could save $160 million.

Finally, I was impressed with Rep. Terry's on-point, concise answers. I didn't get any answers that were evasive or long-winded. I just got alot [sic] of facts about the process and about the minor role that science is playing in putting this bill together.

LFR is both right and wrong. None of the answers appear to be long-winded, but they did seem to evade facts. Terry is wrong on basic questions such as the content of the bill, the circumstances that led to the bill, and the impact of the bill on his constituents. The real question is: why would endorse such a poorly conceived endeavor masquerading as an interview? If this is the GOP's idea of actively engaging in social media, no wonder they seem to have such a poor grasp of the concept.