Zombie Lies ~ Discredited Distortions of Truth that Refuse to Die

Even if we do end up having to pay a little bit more for our energy in the short-run, this is the price that we must pay for energy independence in the long-run, which translates into improved national security and a stronger economy for future generations.

Brian Young, writing for Truth Fights Back dot Com, has sent out an appeal for help combating viral disinformation and misguided statements from Republicans like Rep. Joe Barton and their powerful corporate allies. His message was titled, “Zombie Lies.” That’s what Economics Professor and New York Times’ editorialist, Dr. Paul Krugman, calls discredited distortions that live on, repeated over and over again long after they’ve been proven false. Well, this week, the Undead Talking Points run wild all over the debate on how to limit carbon pollution and break our addiction to oil, most of which that we use being imported and much of that from countries whose people don’t like us very much. These talking points all share the same two phrases: “job killing” and “tax.”

If you have the time, I’d like to share his message with you.

First of all, he said, we have an industry front group running ads in DC using the “job killing” zombie about the American Power Act. Never mind that this group – the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity – was once busted for sending forged letters to Congress, letters claiming to be from minority groups that never sent them. That should tell you all you need to know about the veracity of this group’s claims.

The truth is that the American Power Act has been studied thoroughly by legitimate non-partisan groups such as the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and all major studies show that it will create millions of jobs. The only jobs that the act will kill will be those of the PR flacks pushing these discredited attacks.

Second, two Republican Senators released a “report” this weeks that’s so stale and discredited that they didn’t even bother to update the pictures from the last time they trotted out the same talking points to attack an entirely different piece of legislation. This “report” claims that billions in new taxes are included in the American Power Act, but there’s not a single dollar in taxes in the entire bill. Republicans just like to label anything government does to change the status quo for business as a tax because much of increased costs of production for businesses are typically passed on to consumers. However, according to the Peterson Institute study, the American Power Act could end up actually saving Americans on their energy costs.

Yes, by pricing carbon, the American Power Act will raise the price of fossil fuels for both businesses and consumers. Households will see an average increase of 3% in electricity rates and 5% increase in gasoline prices between 2011 and 2030, according to the Peterson Institute study. But energy efficiency improvements will largely offset these energy price increases. Accordingly, house- holds will see somewhere between a $136 increase and a $35 decrease in average annual energy expenditures – this depending on future improvements in vehicle efficiency. But, even if we do end up having to pay a little bit more for our energy in the short-run, this is the price that we must pay for energy independence in the long-run, which translates into improved national security and a stronger economy for future generations. But unlike a tax, this small increase in the cost of energy is a cost that individuals and businesses can chose to pay or not pay by moderating wasteful energy consumption habits.

By supporting the American Power Act, we can guarantee our children a cleaner, greener future and break our addiction to fossil-based energy and our dependence on petroleum imports. But to achieve this, we can’t let the debate get sidetracked by the politics of greed and fear. Oil is washing up on our shores, the climates is growing dangerously more unpredictable, and all the other side manages to do is to apologize to the big oil polluters and repeat the same ole, glassy-eyed attacks on science and main-stream economics.

Enough is enough! Let’s stand up for the truth and let the obstructionists know that we really do want change, that we are willing to sacrifice a little “skin” for a healthier, safer tomorrow. Make a donation, as I have done, to publish ads that communicate the truth about this legislation, ads that will combat the lies and distortions. You can do so through the TruthFightsBack website.

 Please feel free to post a comment, whether pro or con.

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 11:56 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Kent – as always, well thought and well said. I did make a contribution but the phony-baloney “American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity” has a bigger pile of the stuff and are using it daily to grease the wheels and influence public opinion with their “zombie lies” – they just won’t die; much like the lie about Obama’s birth certificate. A lady at church actually brought that up again a few weeks ago and I had to tell her it just wasn’t the truth. Perhaps she believed me. Keep up the good fight -“Onward through the fog.”

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