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Originally published September 7 2009

Oil Industry Front Group Runs Climate Change Disinfo Ads

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) An oil industry front group has been running ads falsely claiming that taxpayers would bear a heavy cost for measures to reign in runaway global warming, according to a press release from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The ads in question are funded by the American Energy Alliance (AEA), which is headed by a former staff member of Tom Delay, a former Republican House Majority Leader. The AEA was formed in 1993 by the American Petroleum Institute and 1,600 large companies, along with some small businesses and farmers, in order to defeat a proposed tax on energy consumption. It describes itself as the "grassroots arm" of the Institute for Energy Research, which is headed by the former director of public policy analysis for Enron.

The AEA ads state that a bill proposed by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) "could cost our families (sic) more than $3,100 per year in new taxes."

This claim is based on a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study that concluded the bill would cost roughly $3,100 per U.S. taxpayer, but that taxpayers would not have to pay any of it. Instead, the study said the entire amount could be raised by making polluting companies pay for their emissions. Study author John Reilly has publicly stated that the interpretation of his study being propagated by the AEA and certain congresspeople is false.

The AEA ads fail to mention the bill's emphasis on increased energy efficiency, which would actually save consumers and businesses money -- an estimated $465 billion per year, according to Union of Concerned Scientists study. If the government uses money raised by the bill to finance tax breaks or other incentives for consumers to retrofit their homes for more efficiency, the average household would save $900, including $580 on fuel and $320 on electricity, heating and cooking.

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