Sen. Barrasso Cites Debunked Sources To Criticize ACES

June 11, 2009 4:39 pm ET

On June 11, 2009 Sen. John Barrasso wrote a blog post on The Hill criticizing the American Energy and Security Act (ACES). In it, he managed to make a number of false and previously debunked claims by quoting a number of false and already debunked sources.

Sen. Barrasso Gets It Wrong On The American Clean Energy and Security Act

Sen. Barrasso: "ACES will have a devastating effect on our economy, and we will have no environmental benefit to show for it. I'm not alone in this assessment." [The Hill, 6/11/09]

Sen. Barrasso is half right. He's not alone in his assessments - but all of those assessments are wrong.

Sen. Barrasso And Heritage Get It Wrong On The American Clean Energy and Security Act

Sen. Barrasso: "The Heritage Foundation predicts that the ACES approach could cost the economy $9.6 trillion and more than 1 million lost jobs by 2035." [The Hill, 6/11/09]

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. [EPA Waxman-Markey Discussion Draft Analysis, 4/20/09]

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Creates FOUR TIMES As Many Jobs As 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]

Sen. Barrasso And The CBO Get It Wrong On The American Clean Energy and Security Act

Sen. Barrasso: "He cites the Congressional Budget Office which estimated that the resulting increases in consumer prices needed to achieve a 15 percent CO2 reduction, slightly less than the ACES target, would raise the cost of living by $1,600 a year, for every family in America. That's a $1,600 tax on every American." [The Hill, 6/11/09]

FactCheck.org: The CBO Estimate Did Not Include Offsets, Which The Bill Will Likely Have. According to FactCheck.org: "But the CBO's estimate did not include 'any benefits to households from lessening climate change.' And the CBO also concluded that cost increases for some families, at least, could be offset if revenues from the allowances were returned to consumers. In his testimony, Dinan said that a 2000 CBO study "concluded that lower-income households could be better off as a result of the policy (even without including any benefits from reducing climate change) if the government chose to sell the allowances and use the revenue to pay an equal lump-sum rebate to every household in the United States." [FactCheck.org, 5/28/09]

The Government Will Initially Give Away Carbon Allowances For Free.  According to the Houston Chronicle: "The bill's authors had to make a major compromise, however, agreeing to give away many of the initial permits rather than selling them through an auction. Proponents of giveaways argued they would keep the cost of compliance low in the early years of the program, so technology can catch up with the law's goal of reducing total emissions by about 80 percent by 2050." [Houston Chronicle, 5/25/09]

"Consumers Would Receive Around $750 Billion...To Offset The Higher Energy Costs." According to the New York Times: "Opponents of climate legislation paint efforts to reduce carbon emissions as "cap and tax" policy, but a new analysis of the current House proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions finds that consumers would receive around $750 billion in direct and indirect handouts and subsidies through 2030 to offset the higher energy costs." [New York Times, 5/20/09]

Sen. Barrasso And Feldstein Get It Wrong On The American Clean Energy and Security Act

Sen. Barrasso: "According to Harvard Economist Martin Feldstein in a recent Washington Post article, ACES will 'have a trivially small effect on global warming while imposing substantial costs on all American households.'" [The Hill, 6/11/09]

Feldstein's Organization Is Funded By Exxon Mobile. Martin Feldstein is President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research, which received $25,000 from Exxon's corporate treasury (not their foundation) in 2008. [ExxonMobil.com, accessed 6/11/09; NBER.org, accessed 6/11/09]

ACES Will Significantly Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund: "Waxman-Markey aims to reduce U.S. global warming pollution by requiring a 17-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020. This is like removing greenhouse gases from 500 million cars-about half the world's cars in 2020." [AmericanProgressAction.org, 5/18/09]

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