Don't you just hate it when Republicans take your thorough academic work and twist it for their own diabolical ends? M.I.T. Professor John Reilly certainly feels that way now as the House Republicans led by John Boehner continue to blatant lie about what is in his report on what cap and trade costs to the public. Though he isn't taking it lightly, in fact he wrote a blistering open letter so that they'll stop misrepresenting the truth.
PolitiFact interviewed John Reilly, an MIT professor and one of the authors of the study, who explained he had spoken with a representative from the House Republicans on March 20, and that he had clearly told them, “why the estimate they had was probably incorrect and what they should do to correct it.” Nonetheless, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) decided to use the $3,100 figure to attack cap-and-trade, while the National Republican Campaign Committee blasted dozens of press releases like the following on March 31:
As Congress takes the President’s federal budget under consideration, North Carolina families deserve to know if Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) would support such a devastating energy tax proposal. […] MIT researchers released an “Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals,” which shows that the increase would be an increase of more than $3,000 a year for each household.
Today, Professor Reilly sent a forceful letter to Boehner and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to denounce this blatant distortion being told by Congressional Republicans. Reilly noted that $3,100 was actually “10 times the correct estimate which is approximately $340″ and that the costs on lower and middle income households can be “completely offset by returning allowance revenue to these households”:
It has come to my attention that an analysis we conducted examining proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Report No., 146, Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals, has been misrepresented in recent press releases distributed by the National Republican Congressional Committee. The press release claims our report estimates an average cost per family of a carbon cap and trade program that would meet targets now being discussed in Congress to be over $3,000, but that is nearly 10 times the correct estimate which is approximately $340. […] Our Report 160 shows that the costs on lower and middle income households can be completely offset by returning allowance revenue to these households.
Of course Congressman Boehner can't be troubled with actual facts. Only unmitigated spin and propaganda is allowed through his office. Whatever it takes to appease his fossil fuel lobbyist friends, John Boehner is happy to acquiesce. If the ecosystem has to go down for it, so be it.