This morning, ABC’s Jack Tapper published this sensational headline: “Bill: ‘We Just Have To Slow Down The Economy’ To Fight Global Warming.” The Republican National Committee quickly latched onto the story, claiming that a “‘tax-it, spend-it, regulate-it’ attitude would really bring the economy crashing down.” Matt Drudge peddled the article on his site.
The problem is, Bill Clinton never said that. In fact, he said just the opposite. Clinton said, “The only places in the world today in rich countries where you have rising wages and declining inequality are places that have generated more jobs than rich countries because they made a commitment we didn’t. They got serious about a clean, efficient, green, independent energy future.”
Even conservative blogs the Corner and Hot Air recognized Tapper’s article as shoddy journalism. Instead of apologizing, Tapper is now defending his egregious post by insisting that addressing global warming will in fact slow the economy, whether Clinton said it or not:
This is the much more important issue here. Any serious effort to reduce greenhouses gases will have an impact on the economy and, initially, that impact could be negative.
Unfortunately, Tapper has run aground of the facts yet again. In reality, the cost of doing nothing far exceeds the necessary cost of addressing climate change. And addressing climate change has already been proven that it can also energize the economy:
— Green Technologies Have Already Created Jobs: In 2004, the ethanol industry created 147,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy and provided more than $2 billion of additional tax revenue. There are 1,500 current and promised jobs in the wind energy industry in Iowa. [Daniel M. Kammen, Testimony to US Senate Environment and Public Works Commte, 9/25/07; AP, 12/31/07]
— Increasing Fuel Economy Standards Creates Jobs: Increasing the average fuel economy of America’s new autos to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 would would save consumers $25 billion at the gas pump and increase U.S. employment by 170,800 jobs in the year 2020. [Union of Concerned Scientists]
— Renewable Electricity Standard Saves Consumers Money: A 20 percent national renewable electricity standard by 2020 would save consumers $10.5 billion on energy bills through 2020, growing to 31.8 billion by 2030. [Union of Concerned Scientists]
Tapper appears to have neither the time nor the policy background to figure out the facts.