Rep. Burton Overstates Cost Of Clean Energy By 5000%

July 14, 2010 2:53 pm ET

Last night on the House floor, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) lied about the cost of Democrats' proposals for clean energy legislation. According to Burton, a cap-and-trade policy would "cost every family in this country about $4,000 more for utility bills." Burton is off by a factor of 50; according to estimates, the legislation passed in the House would add about $83 per year to family energy costs, or 23 cents per day. The Senate proposal would cost families $146 per year at worst, and might actually reduce family costs by $35 per year.

Rep. Burton Exaggerates Cost Of Clean Energy By 5000%

Rep. Burton: Clean Energy Legislation Will Increase Family Utility Bills By $4,000. In a floor speech on July 13, Rep. Dan Burton said:

So the president and the majority in this body and the other body are going to wait until the election is over and they're going to call a special session and when they call that special session they're going to try to ram through things such as cap and trade which is going to cost every family in this country about $4,000 more for utility bills.

[C-SPANVideo.org, 7/13/10 at 59:40]

House Democrats' Clean Energy Bill Costs Families Only $83 Per Year

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]

Senate Democrats' Proposed Clean Energy Bill Would Raise Household Utility Costs By $146 Per Year — Or Less

EPA: American Power Act Would Cost Families $79-$146 Per Year Over The Next Four Decades. According to The Hill: "A new EPA analysis of Senate climate change legislation estimates the plan would impose an average annual household cost of $79 to $146 over 40 years." [The Hill6/15/10]

Peterson Institute: American Power Act Would Only Cause "Between A $136 Increase And A $35 Decrease" In Annual Energy Costs Per Household. In its analysis of the American Power Act, the Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote: "In our analysis, households see somewhere between a $136 increase and a $35 dollar decrease in annual energy expenditures, depending on future improvements in vehicle efficiency. The American Power Act also returns much of the revenue raised through the sale of pollution permits to households, with further mitigates the impact of higher energy prices." [Peterson Institute, May 2010]

Clean Energy Proposals Help The 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]

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." [Reuters8/5/09]

...Create Millions Of American Jobs...

The American Power Act Would Create 540,000 American Jobs Per Year Until 2030. In its analysis of the American Power Act (APA), the ClimateWorks Foundation wrote: "APA would retain 110,000 jobs over the period 2012-2020 (150,000 over the period 2012-2030) across industrial sectors of the economy due to energy investments that drive construction and manufacturing job growth. On balance, national employment would be 440,000 higher on average compared to BAU from 2012-2020 and 540,000 higher over the period 2012-2030." [ClimateWorks Foundation, 6/15/10, emphasis added, parentheses original]     

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 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 Energy6/17/09]

...And Make Us Safer.

Veterans Advocacy Group Favors Legislation To Reduce Our Oil Imports. VoteVets.org, a "pro-military organization founded by Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," released an ad explaining why we need to break America's dependence on foreign oil:

[VoteVets.org Ad: "Tough" via YouTube, 3/3/10]

The U.S. Sends Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars To Unstable Oil-Rich Countries Each Year. The Center for American Progress created a useful graphic displaying how America's oil addiction sends billions of dollars to unstable countries often hostile to America and its allies:

[Center for American Progress, 1/13/10]

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