Clean energy opponents’ honesty questioned by Pat Kessler

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The big business lobbying liars are on the air here in Minnesota with ANOTHER campaign of lies and information — this time it’s about the “cap and trade” program in the climate bill, which just started to be heard in a Senate committee this week. A familiar coalition of conservative lobbying groups are running an ad which repeats the claim that cap and trade would cost families over $1,700 a year — a claim that has been called “flat-out wrong.”

At a press conference on Monday, WCCO’s Pat Kessler pressed the coalition to explain why the ad uses an analysis which excludes tax credits and the revenue raised from emission permits that will be returned to consumers. Check out the video by clicking here.

After being corrected about whether it was a Treasury Department or Congressional Budget Office analysis that’s cited in the ad, Minnesota Majority’s Jeff Davis makes reference to a “study” commissioned by the Heritage Foundation. Except the Heritage Foundation “study” is really just a blog post which repeats Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Declan McCullagh’s analysis of the Treasury Department report. What Davis fails to mention is that McCullagh’s analysis had been called “flat out wrong” and using “misrepresentations of the facts.”

Alliance for a Better Minnesota is a nonprofit organization that provides a unified voice for progressive groups including issue and opinion research, shared message development, and one-on-one technical assistance to progressive groups.

The reporting on the Treasury analysis is flat out wrong. Treasury’s analysis is consistent with public analyses by the EIA, EPA, and CBO, and the reporting and blogging on this issue ignores the fact that the revenue raised from emission permits would be returned to consumers under both administration and legislative proposals. It is time for an honest debate about how to solve a long-term challenge and deliver comprehensive energy reform – not for misrepresentations of the facts.

Kudos to Kessler for pressing Davis on what the CBO and Treasury reports actually say. The reality is this: the EPA, the Energy Information Administration, and the CBO have each separately analyzed the American Clean Energy and Security (AES) Act, finding that this clean energy legislation would cut electricity billsreduce global warming pollution, and cut oil dependence at a cost of about a postage stamp a day.

The truth certainly hasn’t stopped conservatives and polluters like the Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the American Petroleum Institute from promoting this lie about cap and trade, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop clean energy opponents here in Minnesota.

Just like with health insurance reform, the most powerful way to fight back against their lies is to expose them bygetting the truth out before they can frame the debate.

The problem is this: the lies work. Only 24% of people know what “cap and trade” is when you say it to them. But if you explain that cap-and-trade will finally make polluters pay for their harmful emissions, support jumps to 60%.

Rising energy costs has strained the budgets of working families. A strong climate bill can lower costs, end our dependence on foreign oil, and create millions of new jobs — that’s why it’s so important that we fight these lies by spreading the truth.

Check out this short video from the Center for American Progress explaining the basics of cap and trade — and how it’ll help make our economy stronger. When you’re done, take a minute to spread the truth.

Click here to watch the video right now and help make sure these lies don’t pollute the debate.