Wednesday, January 6, 2010

So... FreedomWorks Hates the Free Market?

We'll give them this: the folks at FreedomWorks are making the best of an awkward situation.

Run by former Congressman and snarling attack dog Dick Armey, FreedomWorks has been caught redhanded spreading misinformation about healthcare and cap-and-trade in an effort to smear members of Congress. In theory, it's also a group that advocates for free market principles and corporate entrepreneurship.

So it's a bit, um, akward when FreedomWorks starts organizing protests against the craaazy cap-and-trade conspiracy outside of corporate board meetings at companies that support a clean energy and climate bill. It's part of FreedomWorks' campaign to sink legislation that will (a) encourage entrepreneurship in energy efficiency, and (b) use free-market principles to incentivize reducing carbon pollution. Remarkably, they're even doing it with a straight face:
If you aren't otherwise occupied earning a living, FreedomWorks is looking for some patriots who might be up to a little protesting of cap and trade outside the Edison Electric Institute's board of directors and CEOs meeting Thursday morning at the Fairmont on East Princess Drive.

This is a group of share-holder owned electic companies, many of whom support a cap and trade energy ration scheme because they can get government subsidies and exploit the system at the expense of taxpayers. Ultimately, energy will be more expensive and we'll be stuck with the bill. This is nothing but another taxpayer-funded bailout.
To summarize: If you aren't otherwise occupied earning a living at a company that we approve of (like ExxonMobil, which has given FreedomWorks like a gazillion dollars), then we're looking for some patriots to protest clean energy policies that will put 1.7 million of your fellow Americans back to work, because those companies never gave us a dime. Still not interested? Government government government, rationing rationing, BAILOUT!

In reality, hundreds of American businesses support a comprehensive clean energy and climate plan because it will create new jobs, reduce carbon pollution and bring greater American security - thereby improving America's competitive edge and staving off the worst effects of climate change on our economy. These aren't just energy companies: they're the makers of products we buy every day, like Pepsi, Nike, Starbucks and Apple, and - despite what Dick Armey and FreedomWorks would have you believe - they're not involved in a vast conspiracy to steal taxpayer dollars. (And no, a tinfoil hat won't protect you from their scheme).

Simply put, comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation will put a price on carbon pollution -- creating the market certainty necessary to draw investors into clean energy industries, like wind and solar power. Once that investment is in place, millions of new jobs will be created as manufacturers re-hire workers to assemble wind turbines and solar panels. Meanwhile, incentives for reducing energy use will get roofers and carpenters back on the job retrofitting homes for energy efficiency.

Of course, none of this will help oil companies continue to reap record profits...and since FreedomWorks only wants the free market to work for the companies it likes, the rest of us are just outta luck.
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***UPDATE***
Per MediaMatters Action Network, it looks like FreedomWorks is doubling down on its fear-mongering with a round of radio ads as well. The MM title says it all: "FreedomWorks Spreads Old Falsehoods In New Radio Ads." Indeed.

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