Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell's Big Green Lie

Wed, 2009-04-01 16:15Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell's Big Green Lie

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are spreading outright lies in an attempt to oppose a new cap-and-trade plan being considered by Congress.

McConnell and Boehner are making the claim that the greenhouse gas reduction strategy will “cost every American family up to $3,100 per year in higher energy prices.”

The basis for their claim is a 2007 study performed by a group of researchers at the MIT. John Reilly, an MIT professor and one of the authors of the study, explained about this $3,100 claim:

It’s just wrong. It’s wrong in so many ways it’s hard to begin.”” […]

Someone from the House Republicans had called me (March 20) and asked about this,” Reilly said. “I had explained why the estimate they had was probably incorrect and what they should do to correct it, but I think this wrong number was already floating around by that time.”

Ben Furnas at the Center for American Progress Action Fund explains that the America House Republicans apparently took the total revenues from the hypothetical cap and trade system that MIT analyzed and crudely divided it by the number of households in America, getting approximately $3,100 per family.

What they don’t mention, however, is that not only did John Reilly explicitly tell them that this was an inappropriate way to do this calculation, but that MIT had determined the net welfare effect on a typical family and the burden would be less than 1/40th what they claim, and wouldn’t occur until 2015.

There’s spin, then there’s political spin and then there’s outright lying which is where this claim by McConnell and Boehner clearly sits.

This month we’re giving away FREE copies of Thomas Friedman’s bestselling book Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America.

Go here to find out more details about DeSmogBlog’s monthly book give-away.

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