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Newtie Fronts For Big Coal

Now here’s a surprise. Newt Gingrich wants to see energy regulation fail. Luckily Newtie doesn’t have to take on the Waxman-Markey bill all by his lonesome. He has friends. Gingrich put his name on a conservative lobbying effort called “American Solutions For Winning The Future“. Who are these “Americans” and what are their solutions? Well, their largest contributor is Peabody Coal, the worlds largest coal company. Surprisingly, Peabody is against fighting global warming. In fact, Peabody’s CEO, Greg Boyce when asked  about whether high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are harmful said, “I think the simple answer is we don’t know.” This came just a weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their report concluding that the evidence for global warming is “unequivocal“.

Also among the top donors to American Solutions is American Electric Power of Ohio, one of the top two generating companies in the country, which is highly reliant on coal and also Plains Exploration and Production Company of Houston, an oil and gas producer that wants to open offshore drilling off California. Amazingly enough, these companies fronting American Solutions think that “Actually, Waxman-Markey is an Energy Tax“. This surprising conclusion is based on a report by the Energy Information Administration, a DOE agency which provides statistics, data and analysis on energy to Congress. The report, titled EIA’s ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF “THE AMERICAN CLEAN ENERGY AND SECURITY ACT OF 2009” was released August 4. In the report, the EIA says,

“The overall impact on the average household, including the benefit of many of the energy efficiency provisions in the legislation, would be 23 cents per day ($83 per year). This is consistent with analyses by the Congressional Budget Office which projects a cost of 48 cents per day ($175 per year) and the Environmental Protection Agency which projects a cost of 22 to 30 cents per day ($80 to $111 per year). Even under “High Cost” assumptions for new power plants, EIA only projects a household cost of 34 cents per day ($124 per year). None of these analyses take into account the benefits of reducing global warming.”

My God! A tax increase of 23-cents/day over the next 11 years for cleaner energy and for saving the planet! I could buy another gallon of gas! In fact, the Center For American Progress estimates that Waxman-Markey could actually lower energy costs and save $95 billion on energy and gas bills by 2025. The average Montana household could see a reduction of $198 per year on their energy bill. The bill would also spur new investment in clean energy technologies and create 1.7 million new jobs.

But then, Newtie was never one to let facts stand in his way. Especially if there is a buck to be made. Does he care about the environment? You bet, as he says, “I love the environment, but I’m cheap on the environment“. Newt’s front group should be called “American Solutions for Mining More Coal”. These are the folks that your representatives in Congress are listening to. The next step is up to you.


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