Crossroads GPS: “Heart”

An ad from Crossroads GPS claims that Senate candidate Tim Kaine’s (D-VA) support for cap-and-trade policies in general translates into support for a “scheme” that would increase energy costs for small businesses and result in 50,000 job losses. But Kaine didn’t endorse a specific policy, and GPS itself can’t settle on one proposal, cherry-picking the worst estimates of two different bills. One of those bills would have boosted the economy with little additional cost to consumers, and the other allowed small businesses’ utility costs to be offset with money from the sale of emissions allowances.

Kaine Supported Addressing The Threats Climate Change Posed For Virginia Families And Businesses

The citation the Crossroads GPS provides to support its claim that Kaine supports cap-and-trade is testimony Kaine gave before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2007.

In Testimony, Kaine Described Plan To Combat Climate Change That Included Reporting Requirements For Greenhouse Gas Emitters. From Gov. Tim Kaine’s testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: “I also recently released a comprehensive Energy Plan for Virginia, which covers all aspects of energy production and consumption and calls for the state to dramatically increase its efforts in energy efficiency and conservation.  The Plan identifies four overall goals, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025, bringing emissions back to 2000 levels.  Soon, I will announce the appointment of a Commission on Climate Change to prepare a Climate Change Action Plan to implement these recommendations. The Commission also will gather information on the expected effects of climate change on the state and identify actions that Virginia needs to take to prepare for the consequences of climate change that cannot be avoided.  The Energy Plan also recommends that Virginia impose mandatory reporting requirements on emitters of greenhouse gases, and I will work with the legislature to implement this recommendation.” [Tim Kaine Testimony, 9/26/07]

Kaine Detailed Climate Change’s Potentially Devastating Effects On Virginia Ecosystem And Economy. From Gov. Tim Kaine’s testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: “I am very much concerned that climate change could jeopardize the progress we’re making in restoring the Bay. […] We should also be concerned about effects on the Bay’s commercial and recreational fisheries, threatened and endangered species, and breeding ground and migration for waterfowl.  […] Rising sea levels would inundate coastal marshes and other important fish and waterfowl habitats and make coastal property more vulnerable to storms.  In fact, some estimates show that up to 80% of Virginia’s tidal wetlands could be lost by the end of the century. […] Climate change will also affect the Bay watershed’s forests, where prospects for insect and pest outbreaks will increased, which also pose a threat to agriculture.  As temperatures go up, there will also be reductions in crop yields.  For example, corn yields begin to suffer as temperature exceeds 90o F, and corn crop damage can be severe at 100o F.  Increased frequency of both droughts and severe rainstorms can also destabilize annual crop yields.  Because livestock are temperature sensitive, there are likely to be increased labor and maintenance costs to the farmer. Now, let me talk about impacts on the places where we live and work in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  The Virginia Institute of Marine Science estimates that sea level will rise between 4 and 12 inches by 2030.  The Hampton Roads region of Virginia is the largest population center that is at the greatest risk from sea level rise outside of New Orleans. I mentioned frequent and severe coastal storms and flooding as an effect of climate change.  The effects of these severe storms will be multiplied by rising sea levels, increasing risk to life and property.” [Tim Kaine Testimony, 9/26/07]

Five Years Later: Report Affirmed Dangers Of Climate Change For Virginia. From the BBC: “Dying wetland trees along Virginia’s coastline are evidence that rising sea levels threaten nature and humans, scientists say – and show the limits of political action amid climate change scepticism. […] [A]s the salty estuary waters have risen in recent years, they have drowned the trees on the hummocks’ lower edges. If – when – the sea level rises further, it will inundate and drown the remaining trees and shrubs, and eventually sink the entire marsh. That threatens the entire surrounding ecosystem, because fish, oysters and crabs depend on the marsh grass for food. […] Ancient geologic forces are causing the land literally to sink, while the amount of water in the oceans is increasing because of global warming, scientists say. As a result, the low-lying coastal areas – and the towns in it – are at tremendous risk of flooding. […] While politicians in Washington and in Richmond, Virginia’s state capital, have done little to address the problem, authorities along Virginia’s coast have watched the waters rise and have been forced to take action. The city government of Norfolk spends about $6m (£3.8m) a year to elevate roads, improve drainage, and help homeowners literally raise their houses to keep their ground floors dry, says Assistant City Manager Ron Williams. […] At Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base, the US Navy is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to replace aging piers with new ones better able to withstand the rising water.” [, 6/5/12]

Kaine Did Not Support A Specific Climate Change Bill. From PolitiFact: “Kaine warned that rising temperatures and sea levels would damage the bay and the Hampton Roads region, and he urged the Senate to take action. ‘I support legislation that includes a cap-and-trade program for emissions of all greenhouse gases, imposes economy-wide controls rather than singling out a particular sector, and accounts for state efforts to standardize methodologies to record and measure greenhouse gas emissions through the Climate Registry,’ he said. Soon after his testimony, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, at the time a Democrat from Connecticut, and Sen. John Warner, R-Va., introduced a bill to implement a cap-and-trade system. Previous cap-and-trade bills were introduced in 2003 and 2005. Kaine did not say that he specifically supported a particular bill.” [, 8/21/12]

Climate Change Proposals Are Not The Costly Job-Killers Conservatives Make Them Out To Be

Impact Of Cap-And-Trade On Energy Prices “Depends On The Specifics Of A Plan.” From PolitiFact: “Analyses of two measures that have been before in Congress in recent years concluded that cap-and-trade carries a cost for most consumers. At least one cap-and-trade program in place has resulted in an average lower cost for consumers through energy efficiency and rebates. And cap-and-trade legislation is one of the least expensive options for controlling greenhouse gases, experts said. So the assertion that cap and trade leads to higher energy prices is reasonable but depends on the specifics of a plan.” [, 8/21/12]

American Clean Energy And Security Act Would Have Boosted The Economy At Minimal Cost To Consumers

The claim that cap-and-trade would cost Virginia 50,000 jobs comes from a study of the American Clean Energy and Security Act by the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation.

Reuters: Experts Say House-Passed Clean Energy Bill Would Have “Only A Modest Impact On Consumers.” According to Reuters: “A new U.S. government study on Tuesday adds to a growing list of experts concluding that climate legislation moving through Congress would have only a modest impact on consumers, adding around $100 to household costs in 2020. Under the climate legislation passed by the House of Representatives in June, electricity, heating oil and other bills for average families will rise $134 in 2020 and $339 in 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration, the country’s top energy forecaster. The EIA estimate was in line with earlier projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office which said average families would pay about $175 extra annually by 2020, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which said families would pay at most an extra $1 per day.” [Reuters8/5/09]

  • CBO: Energy Costs Would Actually Decrease For Low-Income Households. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, if the bill were implemented, “households in the lowest income quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020, while households in the highest income quintile would see a net cost of $245.” [,6/19/09]

Study: Clean Energy Legislation Would Create Jobs, Boost GDP. According to an analysis by the University of California, Berkley: “Comprehensive clean energy and climate protection legislation, like the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) that was passed by the House of Representatives in June, would strengthen the U.S. economy by establishing pollution limits and incentives that together will drive large-scale investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. These investments will result in stronger job growth, higher real household income, and increased economic output than the U.S. would experience without the bill. New analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs, increase annual household income by $487-$1,175 per year, and boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion. These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill.” [University of California, Berkeley, accessed 5/14/12]

Climate Security Act Allowed Utility Companies To Use Allowance Values To Offset Small Business’ Costs

The ad cites the National Federation of Independent Business to support its claim that cap-and-trade “could increase energy costs for small businesses by 40 percent.” NFIB’s website suggests that the American Clean Energy And Security Act would drive up utility costs by that amount, but indicates that that figure is derived from an EPA analysis of a “similar proposal,” likely referring to an EPA analysis of the Climate Security Act.

EPA Analysis Of Early Version Of Climate Security Act: Electricity Prices Up By 44 Percent In 2030. According to an Environmental Protection Agency economic analysis of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008: “Under S. 2191, if enabling technologies are widely available … electricity prices are projected to increase 44 percent in 2030 and 26 percent in 2050.” [, 3/14/08]

CBPP: Updated Climate Security Act Enabled Small Businesses To Receive Relief From Higher Utility Costs By Allowing Them To Benefit From Allowance Values. From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of S. 3036, a substitute amendment of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008: “Utility company funds: The bill provides 12.75 percent of the allowance value to utility companies that deliver electricity or natural gas, rising to 13.5 percent by 2050. (This is the provision that has been described as the “$911 billion fund,” which is, like the tax figure, a 39-year total.) Of this amount, the bill specifies that 30 percent must be set aside to assist low-income consumers, which is equivalent to 3.8 percent of the allowance value in 2012, and 4.05 percent in 2050. The funding could be delivered either as rebates or energy efficiency interventions or some combination of the two. While some of the remaining 70 percent of the funds could be used to provide additional assistance to low-income consumers, those funds also are supposed to assist middle-income consumers and small businesses, both of which are likely to be strong competitors with low-income consumers for the remaining funds.” [, 6/3/08, emphasis original]

[NARRATOR:] They’re not big enough to get a bailout, but they employ over a million Virginians, the heart of our commonwealth. But Tim Kaine supports cap-and-trade, a huge tax and a big job-killer. The scheme Kaine backs could increase energy costs for small businesses by 40 percent, costing us 50,000 jobs. Higher taxes, fewer jobs. Tim Kaine. Bad for small business, too liberal for Virginia. Crossroads GPS is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Crossroads GPS via, 9/28/12]