Today former Governor Mitt Romney released a video--and a contribution plea--targeting the clean energy and climate legislation currently moving through Congress. Problem is, Romney does not seem to quite know what proposal he opposes, or the real figures on Congress' actual proposal.
In his campaign missive, Romney hones in on the supposed cost of a pollution reduction system--a number that has been repeated by renowned climate-denier Sen. Jim Inhofe, House Minority Leader John Boehner, and conservative commentators like Glenn Beck. The problem is, their numbers are completely fabricated.
Romney, and the other opponents of clean energy legislation, are now claiming it will cost $1,761 per household. This after claiming it will cost $3,100 in months past. An MIT professor who had his own work twisted into the $3,100 figure called the same fuzzy math that created this new number "wrong in so many ways, it's hard to begin." The Pulitzer-prize winning fact-checker site Politifact has called both of these manufactured numbers "False."
The reality is that Romney and other naysayers aren't even looking at the actual Congressional bills currently being considered. Or perhaps they just haven't read them.
If Romney had looked at the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill, or the analyses of the bill done by the Congressional Budget Office, the Environmental Protection Agency, or the Energy Information Administration, he'd see that we dedicate the majority of the bill towards consumer protection measures. That's why all three analyses found that the household costs would be about a postage stamp a day--and that's before you add in the thousands of dollars in savings per year from energy efficiency provisions in the bill, or the national and economic security benefits from reducing our dependence on oil. In fact, the CBO found that the poorest fifth of Americans would actually come out $40 ahead from the robust consumer protections and rebates in the bill.
Here's the scariest math of all: since President George W. Bush's era of climate inaction began in 2001, every single year has been one of the top ten hottest on record, according to NASA. And under the Republican-led Congress and the Bush administration, consumers' energy costs rose $1,100 more for energy from 2001-2007, according to a study by the Center for American Progress--and that's not including the exorbitant gas prices of 2008.
So the next time you hear Mitt Romney or other opponents of clean energy and climate legislation railing about the costs of action, you should multiply your suspicion by whatever number they are attempting to sell. Odds are, it is far from even-handed.
Follow Rep. Ed Markey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/markeymemo