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Luetkemeyer Still Making False Claims About Climate Legislation

This may not surprise you, but it looks like Blaine Luetkemeyer used more bad information yesterday to explain his opposition to the proposed cap-and-trade legislation under consideration by the Senate.

First, Luetkemeyer claimed the Waxman-Markey legislation would create "the most insidious tax you will ever find," and said the cap-and-trade legislation would cost "anywhere from $1,800 to $4,000 per family, depending on which [discredited] study you want to look at," which is true enough.  But in reality, the legislation would cost about $175 per household per year, according to the Congressional Budget office.

The Congressman is also claiming that every clean energy job will cost either 2.2 or 22 "regular jobs," thereby annihilating the American economy. 

At the end of the day, the Heritage Foundation did some studies on it and found for every green job you create, it will cost two point two regular jobs...

For every one permanent green you lose twenty two other jobs, that happens to be same figures the folks from Europe have when they put this program in place. You lose twenty-two jobs for every green job produced.

Watch Luetkemeyer's comments, as posted by his official office:

Ignoring the fact that Luetkemeyer increased his own scary projections tenfold in the course of 40 seconds, let's look at the 2.2 jobs claim and where it comes from.  His numbers come from a Heritage Foundation panel featuring an author from the libertarian think tank Fundacion Juan de Mariana, which argued that "for every green job created [in Spain], 2.2 jobs are lost." However, an official from the region powering Spain’s renewable industry says the study is "completely untrue."

As I will demonstrate, this statement is completely untrue. In Navarre, the development of renewable energies, and above all wind energy, has created wealth, employment and technological development, and I can assert that this can be achieved in any other region or country.

Read the official's full letter here. ThinkProgress explains that the flawed report "relies on bad numbers, grossly underestimating that Spain’s renewable program created only 50,000 jobs, when official estimates are 188,000."


Moreover, the Heritage event at which the flawed study was featured four speakers -- all of whom have received money from ExxonMobil.

The Wall Street Journal also took a look at Luetkemeyer's claim: 

[T]he study doesn’t actually identify those jobs allegedly destroyed by renewable-energy spending. What the study actually says is that government spending on renewable energy is less than half as efficient at job creation as private-sector spending. Specifically, each green job required on average 571,000 euros, compared with 259,000 euros in “average capital per worker” in the rest of the economy.

So how does that translate into outright job destruction? It’s simply a question of opportunity cost, the paper says: “The money spent by the government cannot, once committed to “green jobs”, be consumed or invested by private parties and therefore the jobs that would depend on such consumption and investment will disappear or not be created.”

On paper, that makes sense. But Spain’s support for renewable energy came out of existing tax revenues—there were no special levies on corporate activity designed to underwrite clean energy.




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