Top Republican On House Natural Resources Committee Spreads Misinformation On Energy Policy

May 28, 2009 4:40 pm ET

On May 28, 2009, Rep. Doc Hastings released excepts from a speech given the previous day that indicate he is using his position as the top Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee to spread misinformation about the Democratic cap-and-trade plan.

Rep. Hastings Falsely Claims Cap-And-Trade Will "Cripple Our Economy"

Rep. Hastings: "Whatever your views on global climate trends, everyone wants clean air.  But this plan would cripple our economy without taking into account the exploding pollution levels of rapidly expanding countries like China and India." [Hastings Speech, posted 5/28/09]

Cap-And-Trade Is Good For The Economy

Under The Bill, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Would Continue To Grow By Trillions. An EPA analysis of the bill found the GDP would reach $22.6 trillion in 2030 - a growth of roughly $7 trillion from projected 2015 GDP. [Waxman-Markey Discussion Draft Analysis, 4/20/09]

Other Countries Invest More Than America Does In New Energy And Will No Longer Have The United States' Policies As An Excuse To Continue Polluting

China Is Investing SIX TIMES As Much As America In New Energy Technologies, Amounting To $12.6 Million Every HOUR.  According to the Center for American Progress: "China's leaders are investing $12.6 million every hour to green their economy... This massive stimulus plan will spend over 3 percent of China's 2008 gross domestic product annually in 2009 and 2010 on green investments-more than six times America's green stimulus spending as a percentage of our respective economies. This is about $12.6 million every hour over the next two years." [Center for American Progress, 4/20/09]

"Developing Countries Have Sidestepped Demands To Limit Their Own Emissions By Arguing For Years That The U.S. Was Still On The Sidelines." According to the Wall Street Journal: "China, India, and other developing countries have sidestepped demands to limit their own emissions by arguing for years that the U.S. was still on the sidelines. Obviously that's not the case anymore. In that sense, any U.S. domestic agreement on climate change should improve the chances of getting the world's fastest-growing emitters to cooperate later this year at the big climate-change confabs." [Wall Street Journal, 5/22/09; emphasis added]

Rep. Hastings Falsely Claims Dramatically Increased Raw Material Prices "Could Become A Reality" Under Cap-And-Trade

Rep. Hastings: "Imagine for a minute that every raw material you buy cost 30 or 40 percent more. Imagine if the gasoline that runs your tractors cost $5 or $6 a gallon. And imagine if the cost to ship your goods from Ellensburg to Seattle suddenly doubled. These scenarios are on the horizon, and could become reality if a cap and trade plan ever became law." [Hastings Speech, posted 5/28/09]

Cap-and-trade programs have been found to spur "technological innovation and energy efficiency" which prevent costs from rising dramatically.

Cap-And-Trade Saves Money On Goods And Reduces Emissions Simultaneously. According to an EPA report: "While a cap-and-trade system reduces compliance costs, it also creates incentives to reduce emissions below allowable levels, spurring technological innovation and energy efficiency. In the 1990s, scrubber costs dropped by 40 percent, and the sulfur removal efficiencies of scrubbers improved from 90 to 95 percent. Additionally, the cap provides environmental certainty, which is absent in other regulatory programs." [EPA Report, 05/02]

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]