Thursday, June 25, 2009

CORE Another Acronym for ExxonMobil

Without a doubt, the most repeated concern the opposition has raised to a comprehensive clean energy bill has been highly exaggerated claims of the bill's impact on consumer electricity prices.

In a letter sent to House offices today, Congress of Racial Equality's (CORE) Chairman Roy Innis describes the American Clean Energy and Security Act in unflattering if flowery terms:
Immoral assault on poor Americans because it is designed to purposely raise the cost of energy in order to force the working poor to reduce their standard of living.
Innis goes on to invoke a greatest hits of hot-button phrases, including "morally repugnant," "elitist," and "anti-consumer" as he claims it will be America's poorest who will bear the cost of the legislation.

Harsh? Yes. True? Absolutely not.

Perhaps Innis should have looked at the most recent Congressional Budget Office analysis of the legislation released last Friday. According to the CBO report, the nation's poorest will actually have LOWER electric bills as a result of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. They found that those that earn in the twentieth percentile and below income bracket, or a fifth of Americans, would pay $40.00 LESS for electricity after the bill. What's more, this estimate doesn't even take into account the economic benefits of efficiency improvements or from reducing greenhouse gases and slowing that little thing known as climate change.

If reducing electric bills by $40.00 is "immoral," "morally repugnant" and “anti-consumer” to Innis, one has to wonder whether this grouchy Chairman ever gets invited to parties?

Oh yeah, and did we mention CORE received $275,000 from ExxonMobil from 2003-2006? Surprise surprise.

In his defense, Innis did get one thing right in his letter, as he wrote, the bill "will have huge impacts - both direct and indirect - on the struggling families we represent." Those huge impacts presumably include the lower electric bills, cleaner economy, and millions of green jobs the American Clean Energy and Security Act will help create.