In spite of the reports and studies that have shown that the American Power Act will not only help the environment, but also help create as many as 200,000 new jobs, critics from both sides of the political spectrum aren’t passing up any opportunities to trash the bill.
There’s no surprise who is leading the charge – the energy industry. Reports show that the energy sector has ramped up their lobbying efforts this year by as much as 25%.
The coal industry must be feeling especially threatened by the bill’s potential, as they’ve increased their lobbying by 61% this year.
In addition to the increase in lobbying efforts, the coal industry has been using grassroots organizations, such as the 912 Project, to help spread propaganda about the bill. From The Loveland 912 Project’s website:
“During a severe and prolonged recession, our Senators would have us believe that government can create prosperity by requiring Americans to replace affordable and dependable electricity from coal with expensive and unreliable electricity from solar and wind…The American Power Act is a BAD bill. It seeks to destroy the very commodity our prosperity depends upon – reliable, affordable electricity.”
The airline industry is joining in on the attacks, with the Air Transport Association of America claiming that the bill will force the airlines to pass on the additional US$5 billion in costs they will experience to their customers by 2013.
But industry insiders aren’t the only ones attacking the bill. Fox News’ Glenn Beck recently claimed that the bill was a step towards Marxism in a TV diatribe, while simultaneously telling America that cap-and-trade will only give Democrats unprecedented power over the planet.
Local and national papers have been flooded with op-eds claiming that the bill will not work and will only help ruin our economy. Liberal blogs such as The Huffington Post have also lobbed criticism, with blogger and president of Friends of the Earth, Erich Pica calling the bill “Kerry's and Lieberman's Climate Junk Shot.”
While no one would admit that the bill is perfect, it is a crucial step in the right direction. The cost of inaction will be far worse than the cost of passing a half-hearted bill.
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