What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 2, 2009

Mike Doyle and the American Energy Alliance

Thinkprogress.org is reporting that an organization calling itself the American Energy Alliance is airing some radio ads in the home districts of some Democrats in order to pressure them into voting against the Waxman-Markey clean energy bill.

Before we proceed further, let's give a listen to the ad:

The members of Congress targetted:
  • John Barrow (D-GA)
  • G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)
  • Mike Doyle (D-PA)
  • Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX)
  • Baron Hill (D-IN)
  • Jim Matheson (D-UT)
  • Charlie Melancon (D-LA)
  • Tim Murphy (R-PA)
  • Mike Ross (D-AR)
  • Betty Sutton (D-OH)
The text can be found here.

As I am in Congressman Doyle's district, I contacted him for a comment. Here it is:
I've been working for months with Chairman Waxman and Chairman Markey to put together a plan that will halt global warming and create American jobs, and I think we're pretty close to completing a package that can be approved by a majority of Members in both the Committee and the full House. A couple of radio ads aren't going to change my mind.
Now let's take a look at the ad and the organization.

The ad, says Thinkprogress, uses the already debunked claim that this will cost $3100 per family. Though look at the ad copy carefully - notice anything? Here how it reads verbatim:
Studies show that the bill, known as the Waxman-Markey Energy Tax, could cost our family's more than $3,100 per year in new taxes.
Isn't the plural of "family" spelled "families" and not "family's"? If you're going to spend some serious money lobbying 10 members of the US House of Representatives, shouldn't you at least hire someone who knows the difference between a plural and a possessive? C'mon Chad, back me up on this one, my friend.

In any event, Politifact calls the claim a lie - a "Pants on fire" lie, in fact. Here's Politifact's description from late March:
"The administration raises revenue for nationalized health care through a series of new taxes, including a light switch tax that would cost every American household $3,128 a year," the House Republican Conference said in a Web post and press release titled "Questions on the Budget for President Obama," distributed March 24.
To back up the claim, their staff pointed us to an M.I.T. report that says a similar a cap-and-trade proposal (the administration has not yet detailed their own version) would raise $366 billion per year. If you divide that by the 117 million households in the United States, you find it would cost each household $3,128, they said.
What do you think happened when Politifact did some digging?:
"It's just wrong," said John Reilly, an energy, environmental and agricultural economist at M.I.T. and one of the authors of the report. "It's wrong in so many ways it's hard to begin."

Not only is it wrong, but he told the House Republicans it was wrong when they asked him.

"Someone from the House Republicans had called me (March 20) and asked about this," Reilly said. "I had explained why the estimate they had was probably incorrect and what they should do to correct it, but I think this wrong number was already floating around by that time."

So don't they know the difference between a plural and a possessive, they don't know when not to spread a debunked lie.

But who are the American Energy Alliance anyway? Thinkprogress again:
The American Energy Alliance is headed by an oil industry lobbyist named Thomas J. Pyle. Before joining AEA, Pyle was a policy adviser to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). Pyle’s former employer was among the top recipients of oil industry campaign contributions from 1998 to 2004, raking in $498,375 according to the Center for Public Integrity. Pyle then went to work for the oil-giant, Koch Industries.
So you KNOW they're completely unbiased.


UPDATE: I have contacted Congressman Murphy's office for a comment. If they send along a comment, I will post it here.


Allen said...
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Dayvoe said...

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