This article defines the battle happening with Rep. Henry Waxman and the Obama administration on one side and the House GOP leadership on the other. Here’s a key point of contention:

But Democrats deny their legislation will cost the taxpayers anywhere near that much money, and some said the legislation’s goals it can be achieved with no net cost to the taxpayer. Further, one of the MIT study’s author’s disagreed with the Republicans’ interpretation of the costs. “That is nearly 10 times the correct estimate, which is approximately $340,” wrote MIT Prof. John Reilly, one of the authors of the disputed report, in an Apr. 1 letter to Boehner.

In reference to the $3,100 figure, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said, “That’s not true at all. In fact, the Environmental Projection Agency estimate says that it will be about $40 or $50 per family per year,” Waxman told

I should trust the EPA’s figures why? Let’s remember this testimony given by Lisa Jackson, the EPA’s administrator:

REP. STEVE SCALISE, R-La.: Administrator Jackson, in your opening statement you talked about the jobs that would be created – green jobs that would be created under a cap-and-trade bill. Can you quantify how many jobs you estimate would be created under this legislation?
MS. JACKSON: I believe what I said, sir, is that this is a jobs bill and that the discussion draft bill in its entirety is aimed to jumpstart our move into the green economy.
REP. SCALISE: And I think you quoted President Obama saying that it was his opinion that he would – that this bill would create millions of jobs. I think you used the term “millions.” Is there anything that you can base your determination on how many jobs will be created?
MS. JACKSON: EPA has not done a model or any kind of modeling on jobs creation numbers.

Ms. Jackson started by claiming this legislation would create millions of new jobs, followed by Rep. Scalise challenging that notion before finishing with Ms. Jackson admitting that she didn’t know how the EPA arrived at that figure. Considering the likelihood that the EPA’s figures on Cap and Trade’s cost per family were put together by out of touch bureaucrats, I think I’ll take a skeptical view of their estimates.

This FactCheck article casts further doubts on this administration’s estimates:

So what 150,000 jobs was Obama talking about? It turns out the president’s claim is really an estimate of what his economic advisers think the stimulus bill is doing, and not based on any evidence of its actual effects.

Not content with using false extimates to sell their program, the Democrats have resorted to spinning their figures:

Blumenauer and Reilly also said that Republicans are not taking into account the point that the federal government plans to return to the American people part of the money paid by corporations for the right to release carbon into the atmosphere, and that the government also plans to provide Americans with goods and services funded by the cap-and-trade program.

Does anyone seriously think that this Congress and this administration wants to return the taxes collected from Cap and Trade? I haven’t seen proof that this Democratic Congress and this Democratic administration think of much other than figuring out new ways to tax people to feed their spending addiction.

According to Boehner’s office, the $3,100 number is based on a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study released earlier this year that examined cap-and-trade legislation from 2007. Republicans believe the new legislation for 2009, in its final form, will be similar to the 2007 bill.

“We took MIT’s own estimate of a key cap-and-trade bill from the 110th Congress (S. 309), cosponsored by then-Senator Obama, that said S. 309 would generate $366 billion in revenues in 2015,” Boehner’s office told “We took MIT’s own number, $366 billion, and divided that by the number of U.S. households…Using this formula, you get roughly $3,000 per household.”

We don’t even have to rely on the MIT study. We can take then-Candidate Obama’s word when he said that his cap and trade program would cause energy prices “to necessarily skyrocket.” We can also take Rep. John Dingell’s word on it too:

How can this administration and its congressional allies say that the cost to the average family be small when the senior member of the House says it’s a “great big tax”? Putting Rep. Blumenauer’s spin through the bullshit-o-meter indicates that that’s one of the flimsiest bits of spin in this blog’s history.

These paragraphs are extra important:

In his letter to Boehner, Prof. Reilly wrote, “We assumed in the analysis we did that the revenue is returned to households.” Reilly also noted that the cap-and-trade plan would reduce the number of jobs in fossil fuel industries, such as the coal, natural gas, and oil industries.

“The higher energy prices encourage reductions in energy use by increasing the payback on improvements in energy efficiency, and through such investments households can avoid paying more for energy,” wrote Reilly. “Jobs and wages in fossil fuel industries are likely to decline but job opportunities will increase in industries that produce alternative energy sources or that provide ways to save energy.”

I’ll repeat myself: Why should we think that this Congress and this administration will return the revenues to the people who paid it? Isn’t it likely that, if the money is rebated, that the Democrats would exempt ‘the rich’ from the rebate checks because ‘the rich’ need to pay their fair share?

Secondly, shouldn’t we question whether the amount of new green jobs created will be more than the jobs lost because of reduced use of fossil fuels? That’s certainly possible considering the fact that there are studies showing that there’s a loss of 2.2 jobs in the fossil fuel industry for every green job created.

That’s before talking about whether it’s possible to generate enough electricity with wind and solar power to sustain a growing economy. To say that people are skeptical of wind and solar’s ability to supply that much power, especially at reasonable rates, is understatement.

Talk about reducing energy usage is fine if you’re talking about home consumption. Conservation is also important in inventing more efficient appliances and the like. It’s insignificant in industrial settings when demand for energy production is rising.

Republicans who spoke with defended their $3,100 estimate and argued that it is unlikely that money going through the hands of the federal government will make it back intact to the taxpayers.

“Anyone who thinks you can pay $3,100 to the federal government and thinks you can get that money back completely in services, like I said, he may go to M-I-T but he is an N-U-T.,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) told “No, there is no chance this will not add to the net cost for taxpayers,” he said.

“This MIT study was pretty clear in terms of what this professor thought on the costs,” Boehner told

The Democrats know that they’ll lost votes if Republicans convince the public that this bill is a big tax increase. I’m betting that they’d lose 3-5 senators if their constituents are letting them know what they want.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

5 Responses to “Trustworthy Estimates? Not From This Administration”

  • How is some regulatory scheme supposed to be more efficient at fighting climate change than utilizing the information from the TTAPS study, one of the most groundbreaking scientific papers since “The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”?

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