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

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

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

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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