PI Original Adam Doster Wednesday April 15th, 2009, 5:20pm

Roskam Joins Shimkus, Repeats Cap-And-Trade Lie

Yesterday, we pointed out the severe factual problems with GOP Rep. John Shimkus' claim that "individual homeowners could pay as much as $3,100 a year in additional taxes" if Congress enacts cap-and-trade legislation aimed at curbing carbon emissions. To put ...

Yesterday, we pointed out the severe factual problems with GOP Rep. John Shimkus' claim that "individual homeowners could pay as much as $3,100 a year in additional taxes" if Congress enacts cap-and-trade legislation aimed at curbing carbon emissions. To put Shimkus' comments in broader context, we noted that he and Rep. Peter Roskam last year similarly distorted U.S Energy Information Agency statistics to serve their political purposes.  And like clockwork, in his column for WLS Radio's website today, Roskam repeated the $3,100 figure himself:

The House Majority leadership is currently devising a Cap and Tax plan (also known as Cap and Trade) to regulate emissions. It is conservatively predicted to cost at least $646 billion. What does this mean for us? According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the amount a family spends on energy could increase by as much as $3,100 per year. We simply can't afford it in this economy.

One slight problem, though: The co-author of the MIT study in question told Politifact last month that the $3,100 figure cited by Republicans is "wrong in so many ways it's hard to begin." The actual tax burden, according to the study, would be $31 extra a year for single filers and $79 for families.  And it wouldn't surface until 2015.

Meanwhile, Springfield-based blogger Will Reynolds had a chance to hear Shimkus speak at the Citizens Club earlier this week.

When asked about his recent ridiculous comments on global warming, Shimkus reportedly responded that "people are attacking him for his beliefs because he quoted the Bible." He went on to repeat the same tired cap-and-trade canard he's been using for months. Here's Reynolds' great response:

Several times he repeated what must be the fossil fuel industry line of attack, that a cap-and-trade system is a tax designed to put a price on carbon and enlarge government. What he fails to appreciate is that there's already a price for fossil fuel pollution which is being passed on to the public. A cap-and-trade plan would place the burden of paying those costs onto polluters in a market system. Of course, he made no mention of the taxpayer subsidies he supports for the coal and oil industries.

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