Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blunt, Forsee Cite Inflated Cost Figures In Saying "No" To Clean Energy for Mizzou

It's a twisted new turn in the saga of false attacks on clean energy and climate legislation.

University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee recently used some fuzzy math to back away from a commitment he signed to promote clean energy and fight global warming on college campuses. Forsee had previously joined 662 other school administrators nationwide in signing the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which is seen as a symbol of the growing recognition by academic leaders (college presidents) that future generations (their students) will lose out on the new energy jobs of the future and suffer the worst effects of global warming unless we cap carbon pollution.

Then he turned around and authored a letter to notorious clean energy opponent Rep. Roy Blunt, who voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act this summer and has taken more than $1 million in campaign cash from Big Oil and energy special interests. In the letter, Forsee argues that limiting carbon pollution through a cap-and-trade system would cost the UM system too much.

Now Roy Blunt is promoting Forsee's letter in a twisted effort to show that the Univeristy of Missouri system would suffer from clean energy and climate legislation. The kicker? The House Select Committee that's working on climate legislation did a fact-check of Forsee's cost claims and found that they were wildly exaggerated. No matter: when you're Roy Blunt, thousands of clean energy jobs for Missouri, cleaner air and water and greater national security just don't seem to make a compelling enough case to reform our nation's dangerous energy policies.

By the way, how's the Forsee flip-flop playing on campus? Badly, according to coverage in the University's student newspaper (check out the comments section!). The paper's editorial board slams Forsee for failing to consult other administrators like the UM system's chancellor before writing a letter claiming to represent the UM system. As a result, the paper writes, "sending this on his own could make it look like Forsee has a political agenda and not a fiscal one."

Given that Forsee and Rep. Blunt seem to be singing the same twisted song on clean energy facts, we're inclined to share that concern.

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