George Allen Repeats Debunked Cap-And-Trade Myths

June 05, 2009 10:14 am ET

On June 4, 2009, former Sen. George Allen appeared on E&E TV (Energy & Environment) to discuss his new ExxonMobil-funded American Energy Freedom Center, a project of the Institute for Energy Research.  Allen used his appearance to repeat false statistics and debunked myths regarding the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

George Allen's Institute for Energy Research Receives Significant Funding From ExxonMobil

Almost 10% of the Institute for Energy Research's 2007 budget was provided by ExxonMobil. [ExxonMobil 2007 Worldwide Giving Report, accessed 5/4/09; IER 2008 Year in Review; 5/4/09]

George Allen Cited Debunked Cost Estimate

George Allen: "All right, yeah, good question. If you want to get into the details of it there's an MIT study. The Heritage Foundation also has a study. They average it out to around $3100 a year." [E&E TV, 6/4/09] "The $3,100 Figure Is A Misrepresentation Of Both Obama's Proposal And The Study From Which The Number Is Derived." According to "Leading Republicans are claiming that President Obama's proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions would cost households as much as $3,100 per year. The Republican National Committee calls it a 'massive national energy tax.' But the $3,100 figure is a misrepresentation of both Obama's proposal and the study from which the number is derived... If the government did use revenue from cap and trade 'to pay an equal lump-sum rebate to every household,' the CBO expert said, 'lower-income households could be better off.'" [, 5/28/09; emphasis added]

Even Before Markup, The EPA Estimated Cap-And-Trade Bill Would Cost Less Than $150 Annually.  According to the Wall Street Journal: "The Environmental Protection Agency presented its analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill on Tuesday and said the contentious plan would cost households less than $150 a year.  That's a far cry from some of the dueling price tags that have been bandied about." [Wall Street Journal, 4/21/09; emphasis added]

  • EPA: Markup Changes In Bill Decrease "The Impact On Household Energy Bills." According to an EPA report: "The change in early-year cap levels lowers allowance prices slightly. In the draft bill, the year-2020 emissions cap for covered sources was set at 20% below the year-2005 level. In H.R. 2454, the year-2020 cap is changed to 17% below the year-2005 level. (The 2012, 2030, and 2050 targets remain the same.) That relaxation of the cap, by itself, will lower allowance prices by 3%. Accordingly, that single change will lower the cost of the legislation for households, in part by lowering the impact on household energy bills." [EPA, accessed 5/27/09; emphasis and parentheses original]

A Clean Energy Standard Would Decrease Energy Costs Over Time

George Allen: "Whatever the figure you want to use, there is no question whatsoever that this cap and tax scheme is going to increase the cost of electricity, of energy, of fuel, of food in this country." [E&E TV, 6/4/09]

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]

A Clean Energy Standard Would Create Millions Of Jobs

George Allen: "Here's the United States imposing this burden, making our country less competitive, throwing people out of work, harming families and their household budgets and we're the only country doing it. It is in effect economic unilateral disarmament. So I don't think there's ever a good time to put added burdens on the American people. This is especially a horrible time to be doing it to our economy, to families, for jobs and our country's competitiveness." [E&E TV, 6/4/09]

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Will Create Over 1.5 Million American Jobs.  According to the Center for American Progress, a $100 billion Green Recovery program would create 1,578, 282 American jobs. [Center for American Progress, "Green Recovery," September 2008]

  • Allen's Home State Of Virginia Would Gain More Than 56,000 Jobs From Increased Investment In Clean Energy. According to the Center for American Progress, Virginia would gain 56,459 jobs from its share in a $100 billion Green Recovery program. [Center for American Progress, "Green Recovery," September 2008]

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 $100 billion within the domestic oil industry would create only about 542,000 jobs in the United States. A green infrastructure investment program would create nearly four times more jobs than spending the same amount of money on oil energy resources. And again, spending on oil offers no benefits in transitioning the U.S. economy toward a low-carbon future, while perpetuating the economic and national security vulnerabilities by continuing to rely on oil for the lifeblood of our economy." [Center for American Progress, "Green Recovery," September 2008]

Investment In Renewable Energy Has Already Salvaged Many Manufacturing Facilities Closed During Economic Downturn.  Across America, factories and plants abandoned by the old economy have been re-tooled and re-opened to satisfy the growing demand for new energy technologies. For instance, once hopeless manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Michigan have re-energized their communities by creating jobs and leading the charge toward a new energy future. [Bloomberg, 4/2/09; Star Tribune, 4/22/09; Grand Rapids Press, 3/6/08]