Hyping New Book, CEI's Chris Horner Routinely Uses "Facts" Debunked 7 Months Ago

April 22, 2010 10:36 am ET

Promoting a new book, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner has written a series of blog posts on conservative websites.  Each one cites a cap-and-trade cost estimate snatched from a Freedom of Information Act request.  The documents recovered analyzed a policy not included in any clean energy bill proposed in Congress, rendering them meaningless. In fact, CEI's claims were widely debunked in September 2009.

Horner Uses Lies To Self-Promote

CEI's Chris Horner On BigGovernment.com:

Team Obama is hiding its cap-and-tax cram-down behind closed doors because, as documents I obtained under the Freedom of Information Act - drafted within days of Obama's victory in preparation for just such a moment - reveal, the bureaucrats believe they can plunder an equivalent of the entire corporate income tax haul per year from cap-and-trade, designed the way Obama has called for it. [BigGovernment.com, 4/20/10]

CEI's Chris Horner On The Daily Caller:

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, I obtained internal Treasury Department memos drafted mere days after Obama's election by staffers in a new "green" office established by Henry Paulson to administer his (and his Goldman Sachs friends') pet program of "carbon cap-and-trade." The documents tell a different tale.

According to the memos, cap-and-trade is a revenue cash cow worthy of the promise by Barack Obama that, in addition to making electricity rates "necessarily skyrocket," it "will also generate billions of dollars." [Daily Caller, 4/22/10]

Horner's Claims Were Widely Debunked In September 2009

PolitiFact.com Rated Claim FALSE: The "Statement That Households Will Pay $1,761 In New Taxes Every Year Is Based On A Blogger's Incorrect Assumptions And Overly Simple Math." According to PolitiFact.com: the "statement that households will pay $1,761 in new taxes every year is based on a blogger's incorrect assumptions and overly simple math. The estimate does not account for revenue that will be returned to consumers in the form of rebates and other efficiency measures. Furthermore, the number is based on old numbers; the Treasury estimate was written on the premise that all permits would be sold, which, ultimately, is not the form that the Waxman-Markey legislation has taken. Finally, both Alexander and McCullagh portray money raised by selling these permits as a tax. We rate Alexander's claim False." [PolitiFact.com, 9/16/09]

Washington Post: "The Plan In The March Treasury Memo Is Not The One Being Debated In Congress." According to the Washington Post, "the plan in the March Treasury memo is not the one being debated in Congress." [Washington Post, 9/17/09]

Treasury Department: "The Reporting On The Treasury Analysis Is Flat Out Wrong." According to the Washington Post, "The Treasury said the furor was much ado about little. The March memo was not based on any independent Treasury analysis and summarized other studies. The transition team memo said that the government could use the revenue to 'offset distortionary taxes on labor or capital.' 'The reporting on the Treasury analysis is flat out wrong,' said Alan B. Krueger, Treasury assistant secretary for economic policy." [Washington Post, 9/17/09]

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 95,000 Florida 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 Florida and the rest of the U.S. economy. Our research finds that Florida could see a net increase of about $8.1 billion in investment revenue and 95,000 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 95,000 jobs to the Florida labor market in 2008 would have brought the state's unemployment rate down to 5.2 percent from its actual 2008 level of 6.2 percent." [Center for American Progress & Political Economy Research Institute, Clean-Energy Investments Create Jobs in Florida, 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]

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