Death Of A Talking Point: Waxman-Markey Edition

June 22, 2009 10:32 am ET — Chris Harris

Dearly beloved, we're gathered here today to mourn the tragic death of the "$3,100" talking point used religiously by conservatives attempting to disparage the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

Rebuilding America For The Price Of A Postage Stamp

As recently as last week, Republicans in congress continued their claim that the American Clean Energy and Security Act would raise household energy bills by "$3,100" per year. 

Well, I'm happy to announce that the era of "$3,100" is over - or at least it should be.

On June 19th, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the bill, known as Waxman-Markey, settling once-and-for-all the debate over the cost of the legislation. 

The CBO noted that, initially, "the bulk of allowances would be distributed at no cost," and in 2020, would cost an average of only "$175 per household" - the equivalent of a "postage stamp" per day. Additionally, the analysis revealed that the bill would actually save low-income Americans $40 annually and "create jobs and profit opportunities" for American businesses.

Better yet, the actual costs associated with the bill would likely be even lower, as the analysis did not take into account federal subsidies or energy efficiency savings.  The CBO noted:

The analysis does not include the effects of other aspects of the bill, such as federal efforts to speed the development of new technologies and to increase energy efficiency by specifying standards or subsidizing energy-saving investments

Now that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has spoken, will Republicans refrain from spouting the same old, tired falsehoods? Or will they insist on "engaging in statistical demagoguery in an attempt to scare" the American people?

Only time will tell.

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