Swimming Upstream Against Public Opinion, NRCC Running Anti-Clean Energy Ads Laced With Misinformation

The NRCC, the Republican Party campaign committee tasked with electing more House Republicans, announced today that it will be running television and radio ads against Democratic members of Congress who voted for the Waxman-Markey clean energy economy legislation passed last week. The ads erroneously state that the bill will “destroy jobs” and “cost middle-class families $1,800 a year.”

Media Matters Action has noted that both of these claims are patently false. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, clean energy economy legislation will create 1.7 million American jobs while simultaneously addressing climate change by capping carbon dioxide emissions. The $1,800 figure used by NRCC is also made of whole cloth. The Congressional Budget Office has scored the bill and found that by 2020, the annual cost would be about $175 per household — about a postage stamp a day.

Not only does the NRCC stand in defiance of reality, it is going against the tide of public opinion. A new Pew poll found that a super majority of 78% of Americans want the U.S. to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide that cause global warming and 72% of Americans support the core principles underlying clean energy legislation. The same poll found that even 66% of Republicans want the U.S. to curb carbon emissions.

One of the targets of the NRCC ad campaign is freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA). Perriello’s district already contains at least ten businesses in either the clean energy or energy efficiency industry. Not only would clean energy economy legislation realign market incentives to help these businesses expand, it will new spur investments and bring more jobs to the area. Virginia is projected to gain at least 45,000 jobs and a net increase of $3.9 billion in clean energy investments.

While NRCC strategists assume they can dupe Perriello’s constituents with fear mongering ads laced with lies, the right-wing base is harnessing the same NRCC misinformation to demonize Republicans who also voted for the bill. A recent post on the popular right-wing blog Red State calls upon readers to burn Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), one of the 8 House Republicans to support clean energy legislation, in effigy. Organizers of the anti-Obama tea party protests are also coordinating a harassment strategy — in similar fashion to their treatment of Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) — against the 8 House Republicans.

As the NRCC suppresses the truth in a vain attempt to elect more Republicans, they could be fueling more defections from the party.

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