Fact Check: Affordable wind power the reality

The fact checkers are on a winning streak this week by responding to false claims about electricity prices and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.

As expected, opposition to the proposed rules by opponents of renewable energy claimed there would be a significant increase on consumers' electricity bills if the rule is implemented. Fortunately, the facts are clearly on our side, making the job easy for fact checkers.

Wind power is affordable. Thanks to improvements in technology, wind has lowered its costs by 43 percent in just four years and these savings are passed on to consumers. New information from the Department of Energy shows ratepayers in states with the most wind energy have saved the most on their electric bills. We recently highlighted this data and much more in our recently released wind power consumer benefits white paper.

So by adding wind to our energy mix we don't have to sacrifice higher prices for a much-needed reduction in carbon pollution.

Don't just take our word for it, check out just a few of the fact checks separating the myths from the reality.

Washington Post: National Mining Association claim receives "Four Pinnochios"

The National Mining Association (NMA) recently took out a radio ad claiming electricity bills would increase under the EPA's proposed rules. False.

The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler corrects the NMA:

"There’s little justification for this radio ad to claim that people will see their electric bills nearly double because of the EPA rules on new coal plants. The NMA has seized upon a high-end wholesale estimate for “full recapture” carbon capture and sequestration technologies which the EPA specifically rejected — and then leveraged that factoid to make a wholly unsupported claim that the same increase would be reflected in retail prices…the NMA should not rely on such bogus, hyped evidence to make its case."

PolitiFact: Boehner wrong about electric bills surge, job figures

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) claimed that electricity costs would skyrocket to the tune of $17 billion if the plan was implemented. Rep. Boehner's figures rely on a bogus Chamber of Commerce "study" using incorrect information about the EPA's proposed rule before it even was announced Monday.

PolitiFact writes:

"Boehner said the EPA’s plan to regulate carbon emissions in existing power plants will increase electric bills…and "potentially put an average of 224,000 more people out of work every year." Those numbers are based on a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study that came out before the EPA announced the regulations on existing power plants…That study wrongly assumed the administration would set a benchmark of reducing carbon emissions by 42 percent before 2030. The regulations released June 2 actually put forward a 30 percent reduction within that timeframe. The chamber itself told PolitiFact its estimates are not based on the goals as announced…But despite these serious flaws, Boehner used the numbers anyway. We rate his statement False."

Media Matters does a nice job rounding up the Fact Check coverage and highlighting the newspapers who have editorialized against the EPA rule, citing rising electricity prices by using the now debunked Chamber of Commerce "study."




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