Using False Attacks, The Oil Industry Goes After Sen. Graham For Supporting Clean Energy

October 26, 2009 4:50 pm ET

Using false oil industry talking points, the Big Oil funded American Energy Alliance produced an ad attacking Sen. Lindsey Graham for his willingness to work with Democrats on clean energy jobs legislation.  Contrary to the allegations made in the ad, legislation increasing our investment in clean energy technologies would create jobs in every state and help America become more energy independent, all for less than a quarter a day.

The Oil Industry-Funded American Energy Alliance Goes After Sen. Graham

American Energy Alliance:

There are some scary stories coming out of Washington.  The latest is Senator Lindsey Graham's support for a new national energy tax called cap-and-trade. This frightening tax will further hurt our economy, costing millions of American jobs, driving up prices at the pump, and hiking our electricity bills by over fifty percent. That sounds like a rotten idea. Call Senator Graham and tell him the cap-and-trade trick is no treat for South Carolina families. [AEA Ad, accessed 10/26/09]

In Reality, Clean Energy Legislation Would Create Millions Of Jobs

As Media Matters Action Network has noted, a recent study from UC Berkeley found that pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create up to 1.9 million jobs, boost GDP by up to $111 billion and increase families' incomes by nearly $1,200 per year!

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Will Create Over 1.7 Million American Jobs.  According to the Center for American Progress: "Investments in a clean-energy economy will generate major employment benefits for the entire U.S. economy. Our research finds that spending $150 billion on clean-energy investments would create roughly 1.7 million jobs. This is even after assuming a reduction in fossil fuel spending equivalent to the increase in clean-energy investments." [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

  • South Carolina Will Gain 25,000 Jobs From An Investment In Clean Energy Technologies. According to the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, South Carolina could see "a net increase of about $2.0 billion in investment revenue and 25,000 jobs based on its share of a total of $150 billion in clean-energy investments annually across the country. This is even after assuming a reduction in fossil fuel spending equivalent to the increase in clean-energy investments. Adding 25,000 jobs to the South Carolina labor market in 2008 would have brought the state's unemployment rate down to 5.8 percent from its actual 2008 level of 6.9 percent." [Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, Clean-Energy Investment Create Jobs In South Carolina, 6/17/09]
  • Every Single State Will Gain Jobs From An Investment In Clean Energy Technologies. According to the Center for American Progress, investments in clean energy projects would create 1.7 million American jobs in every state in the country. [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

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 $1 million on energy efficiency and renewable energy produces a much larger expansion of employment than spending the same amount on fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Among fossil fuels, job creation in coal is about 32 percent greater than that for oil and natural gas. The employment creation for energy efficiency-retrofitting and mass transit-is 2.5 times to four times larger than that for oil and natural gas. With renewable energy, the job creation ranges between 2.5 times to three times more than that for oil and gas." [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

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]

In Reality, Clean Energy Legislation Would Have A Negligible Effect On Gas Prices 

Clean Energy Legislation Will Increase Prices By Just Cents On The Dollar.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency: "The increase in gasoline prices that results from the carbon price ($0.13 in 2015, $0.25 in 2030, and $0.69 in 2050 under Scenario 2 - H.R. 2454) is not sufficient to substantially change consumer behavior in their vehicle miles traveled or vehicle purchases at the prices at which low GHG emitting automotive technologies can be produced." [EPA Analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 H.R. 2454 in the 111th Congress, pg 61, accessed 9/28/09; emphasis added]

  • By Comparison, Gasoline Prices Raised $2.59 Under President Bush. According to the Energy Information Administration, from January 22, 2001 to July 14, 2008, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline raised from $1.456 to $4.054. [Energy Information Administration, accessed 9/28/09]

New Fuel Efficiency Standards Would SAVE Drivers $3,000 On Gasoline.  According to USA Today: "The rules would phase in with 2012 models, when the current rules end, and escalate so that by the 2016 model year, the industry would have to average the equivalent of 35.5 miles per gallon. The administration estimates the rules would add an average of $1,100 to the price of a car but could save $3,000 on fuel over the vehicle's life." [USA Today, 9/16/09]

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

In Reality, Clean Energy Legislation Would Rebuild American For Less Than A Quarter A Day

Reuters: "Climate Legislation Moving Through Congress Would Have Only A Modest Impact On Consumers." According to Reuters: "A new U.S. government study on Tuesday adds to a growing list of experts concluding that climate legislation moving through Congress would have only a modest impact on consumers, adding around $100 to household costs in 2020. Under the climate legislation passed by the House of Representatives in June, electricity, heating oil and other bills for average families will rise $134 in 2020 and $339 in 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration, the country's top energy forecaster." [Reuters, 8/5/09]

EIA: Clean Energy Legislation Would Cost Only $0.23 Per Day. According to a House Energy and Commerce Committee factsheet of the Energy Information Administration's analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act: "The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has completed an analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives... The overall impact on the average household, including the benefit of many of the energy efficiency provisions in the legislation, would be 23 cents per day ($83 per year). This is consistent with analyses by the Congressional Budget Office which projects a cost of 48 cents per day ($175 per year) and the Environmental Protection Agency which projects a cost of 22 to 30 cents per day ($80 to $111 per year)." [House Energy and Commerce Committee, EIA's Economic Analysis Of "The American Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009," 8/4/09; emphasis original]

CBO: In 2020, Cap-And-Trade Will Only Cost An Average Of $175 Annually, "About A Postage Stamp A Day." In its analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Congressional Budget Office wrote: "On that basis, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the net annual economy wide cost of the cap-and-trade program in 2020 would be $22 billion-or about $175 per household." Rep. Edward Markey noted it was "the cost of about a postage stamp a day." [CBO, 6/19/09; House Committee on Energy & Commerce Release, 6/20/09]

  • Cap-And-Trade Would DECREASE Energy Prices For Low-Income Americans. In its analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Congressional Budget Office wrote, "households in the lowest income quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020." [CBO, 6/19/09; emphasis original]
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