American Solutions Repeats Tired Clean Energy Myths

March 15, 2010 11:31 am ET

In a "Solutions Insider" published on March 15, 2010, Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future repeated the rightwing myth that clean energy legislation would "kill millions of jobs and raise costs for American families by thousands of dollars per year." In reality, investing in clean energy would boost America's economy by $111 billion and create up to 1.9 million jobs.

American Solutions Repeats Tired Clean Energy Myths

American Solutions:

Despite clear evidence that a cap and trade energy tax would kill millions of jobs and raise costs for American families by thousands of dollars per year, the Obama administration now claims that the public will be demanding such a tax once gasoline prices rise this summer. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said last week that "there will be a clamoring for an energy bill when gas prices go up," suggesting Americans will want legislation that lowers costs (something cap and trade simply cannot deliver.) [American Solutions, 3/15/10]

Clean Energy Would Boost The U.S. Economy...

Clean Energy Legislation Would Boost GDP By Up To $111 Billion.  According to the University of California-Berkeley: "Comprehensive clean energy and climate protection legislation, like the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) that was passed by the House of Representatives in June, would strengthen the U.S. economy by establishing pollution limits and incentives that together will drive large-scale investments in clean energy and energy efficiency...New analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would ... boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion. These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

Clean Energy Legislation Would Boost Household Income By Nearly $1,200 Per Year. According to the University of California-Berkeley: "Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs, increase annual household income by $487-$1,175 per year... These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

... And Create Millions Of American Jobs

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Would Create Up To 1.9 Million American Jobs.  According to the University of California-Berkeley, "new analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

  • Investment In Clean Energy Technology Would Create Up To 36,000 Missouri Jobs.  According to the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, "Investments in a clean-energy economy will generate major employment benefits for Missouri and the rest of the U.S. economy. Our research finds that Missouri could see a net increase of about $2.9 billion in investment revenue and 36,000 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 36,000 jobs to the Missouri labor market in 2008 would have brought the state's unemployment rate down to 4.9 percent from its actual 2008 level of 6.1 percent." [Center for American Progress & Political Economy Research Institute, Clean-Energy Investments Create Jobs in Missouri, 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]

Clean Energy Legislation Would Cost Less Than A Postage Stamp Per 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]

Clean Energy Legislation Has Negligible Impact On Gasoline 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

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