Thursday, June 01, 2017


Here's an excerpt from President Trump's speech on the Paris climate accords:
Compliance with the terms of the Paris accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to the National Economic Research Associates.

This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs -- not what we need. Believe me, this is not what we need -- including automobile jobs and the further decimation of vital American industries on which countless communities rely -- they rely for so much, and we would be giving them so little.

According to the same study, by 2040, compliance with the commitments put into place by the previous administration would cut production for the following sectors: paper, down 12 percent; cement, down 23 percent; iron and steel, down 38 percent; coal, and I happen to love the coal miners, down 86 percent; natural gas, down 31 percent.

The cost to the economy at this time would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have 7,000 less income, and in many cases, much worse than that.
All these figures co me from the National Economic Research Associates? What is this group?

Amber Phillips of The Washington Post writes this in her annotation of the speech:
Environmentalists dispute how the association got to those numbers, saying they inflated the costs of greenhouse gas reduction and did not calculate in the economic benefits....

I spent a few minutes digging into the NERA’s background: It was founded by Irwin Stelzer, a conservative U.S. economist.
That doesn't tell us much about NERA. But Phillips does link to this critique of the NERA report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which tells us who sponsored the report:
... the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), unabashed apologists for America’s biggest climate polluters, are out with a new report attacking the Paris Agreement, with exaggerated and deceptive claims about the costs and benefits of achieving our climate goals.
I don't have to tell you that the Chamber of Commerce is unswervingly pro-business. But what's up with the American Council for Capital Formation?

Greenpeace tells us:
The American Council on Capital Formation (ACCF) has partnered twice with the National Association of Manufacturers to produce and disseminate distorted economic analyses that overstate the costs of climate legislation and have been prominently featured at US Chamber of Commerce-organized “forums” on climate over the past year. The ACCF/NAM studies have been credibly debunked more than once.

ACCF is a member of the State Policy Network.
And what can we learn about the State Policy Network? This is from Mother Jones:
From New Hampshire to Alaska, Republican lawmakers are waging war on organized labor. They're pushing bills to curb, if not eliminate, collective bargaining for public workers; make it harder for unions to collect member dues; and, in some states, allow workers to opt out of joining unions entirely but still enjoy union-won benefits. All told, it's one of the largest assaults on American unions in recent history.

Behind the onslaught is a well-funded network of conservative think tanks that you've probably never heard of. Conceived by the same conservative ideologues who helped found the Heritage Foundation, the State Policy Network (SPN) is a little-known umbrella group with deep ties to the national conservative movement. Its mission is simple: to back a constellation of state-level think tanks loosely modeled after Heritage that promote free-market principles and rail against unions, regulation, and tax increases. By blasting out policy recommendations and shaping lawmakers' positions through briefings and private meetings, these think tanks cultivate cozy relationships with GOP politicians....

Founded in 1992 by businessman and Reagan administration insider Thomas Roe—who also served on the Heritage Foundation's board of trustees for two decades—the group has grown to include 59 "freedom centers," or affiliated think tanks, in all 50 states. SPN's board includes officials from Heritage and right-wing charities such as the Adolph Coors and Jacqueline Hume foundations. Likewise, its deep-pocketed donors include all the usual heavy-hitting conservative benefactors: the Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation, which funds the Cato Institute and Heritage; the Castle Rock Foundation, a charity started with money from the conservative Coors Foundation; and the Bradley Foundation, a $540 million charity devoted to funding conservative causes. SPN uses their contributions to dole out annual grants to member groups, ranging from a few thousand dollars to $260,000, according to 2009 records.
As for NERA itself, DeSmog Blog tells us this in 2012:
NERA was founded by Irwin Stelzer, senior fellow and director of the right-wing Hudson Institute’s Center for Economic Policy. In Oct. 2004, The Guardian described Stelzer as the “right-hand man of Rupert Murdoch,” the CEO of News Corp., which owns Fox News.

According to NERA's website, the late Alfred E. Kahn, the “father of deregulation,” advised NERA's 1961 foundation.

In 2010, NERA published a letter to the New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to protest the prospective closure of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plants.

A NERA report from earlier this year provided the basis for the popular King Coal refrain that the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Rule would cost the U.S. tens of billions of dollars and “kill” 180,000-215,000 jobs.

These figures were picked up and cited by climate change denier U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) in June when he spoke out against President Barack Obama's mythological “war on coal,” as well as by the Republican Policy Committee in a May policy paper titled, “Obama’s War on Coal.”
So yeah, I'm sure Trump's stats are really reliable.

No comments: