U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “It’s Time To Send Him Home”

The U.S Chamber of Commerce argues Rep. Martin Heinrich’s (D-NM) voting record on energy is disqualifying, but its claims about cap-and-trade come from an industry-funded study that paints a much darker picture than the Energy Information Administration’s analysis. The ad’s claims about the Keystone XL pipeline and Heinrich’s party loyalty are also dishonest.

Heather Wilson Voted With Her Party “Nearly 90 Percent Of The Time” In Her House Tenure, Too

Wilson Voted With Party “Nearly 90 Percent Of The Time” Too, In Her Last Term. According to the Washington Post voting database, Wilson voted with the GOP 89 percent of the time from 2007-2009, her final term in the House. [WashingtonPost.com, accessed 10/22/12]

Wilson Voted With Party 86.3 Percent Of The Time On Average From 1998-2006. According to Congressional Quarterly, Wilson voted with her party between 79 and 94 percent of the time each year from 1998-2006. The CQ Party Unity numbers for Wilson average to 86.3 percent. [CQ.com, accessed 10/22/12]

Albuquerque Journal, 2006: Wilson Voted With President Bush At Least 88 Percent Of The Time From 2001-2004. From the Albuquerque Journal: “Wilson’s also a pretty reliable vote for President Bush, the magazine found. In 2001, Wilson voted with House Republican leadership 94 percent of the time, according to CQ. The following year, in 2002, that number dropped to 90 percent. In 2003, the number edged up to 91 percent, then dropped to 79 percent in 2004 and then 82 percent last year, in 2005. CQ also found that Wilson doesn’t buck the president quite as much as she and her campaign handlers might like us to believe. Starting in 2001, CQ found that Wilson voted in support of Bush’s stated positions on issues 88 percent of the time. In 2002, she supported the president 90 percent of the time, in 2003 her support level was 89 percent, in 2004 it was 88 percent. Only in the last year, 2005, did Wilson put some serious distance between herself and Bush, voting on his side of issues just 70 percent of the time.” [Albuquerque Journal, 3/12/06]

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

The Chamber of Commerce cites a National Association of Manufacturers study that predicted much worse outcomes from cap-and-trade than other estimates.

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.” [Reuters, 8/5/09]

  • 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.” [CBO.gov, 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]

Keystone XL Would Threaten Environment, But Wouldn’t Create Many Jobs

State Dept. Estimates Keystone Would Create Just 20 Permanent Jobs. From Businessweek: “Clearly, the construction of the pipe, most of it below ground, will be a huge undertaking. The estimated number of people it will employ in the process, however, has fluctuated wildly, with TransCanada raising the number from 3,500, to 4,200, to 20,000 temporary positions and suggesting the line will employ several hundred on an on-going basis. The U.S. State Department, which made its own assessment because the pipeline crosses the U.S.-Canada border, estimates the line will create just 20 permanent jobs. One advantage of a pipeline, after all, is that it’s automated.” [Businessweek, 2/17/12]

Keystone Would Create Fewer Than 25,000 Total Jobs Per Year For Just Two Or Three Years. From a Cornell University Global Labor Institute study of KXL’s economic impacts: “[W]e calculate that the actual spending relevant to the US economy, and the figure from which US new job creation projections should be calculated, is around $3 to $4 billion, not $7 billion. […] Fortunately, the job projections submitted by developers of other major pipeline projects provide a useful guide for estimating potential impacts for KXL. On this basis, for the purposes of estimating total employment impacts, it is reasonable to assume a multiplier of approximately 11 person-years per $1 million pipeline project capital costs. […] Given a multiplier of 11 person-years per $1 million, this translates into total employment impacts of 33,000 to 44,000 person-years. So a reasonable estimate of the total incremental US jobs from KXL construction is about one-third of the figure estimated in the Perryman study and used by industry to advocate for the construction of KXL. Moreover, any job impacts associated with KXL construction would be spread over 2 and more likely 3 years. So the annual impacts are at most about 22,000 person-years of employment per year, for two years. But the annual impacts could also be as low as 11,000 person-years per year, for three years.” [“Pipe Dreams? Jobs Gained, Jobs Lost By The Construction Of Keystone XL,” Cornell University Global Labor Institute, September 2011, internal citations removed]

Keystone Pipeline Puts A Sensitive Aquifer At Risk For A Spill Involving Toxic Chemicals

Keystone XL Would Pump Heavy Crude Mixed With Toxic Chemicals Over One Of Largest Aquifers In U.S. From NPR: “The difference between Canadian Tar Sands oil and Oklahoma light sweet crude is like the difference between Coca-Cola and cake batter. So to make it easier for Canadian oil to flow thousands of miles south to Cushing, it has to be mixed with chemicals to thin out. ‘They won’t tell us what’s in the oil to make it flow,’ says Randy Thompson, a Nebraskan cattle rancher who’s opposed Keystone XL. He’s successfully spearheaded a campaign to halt the construction of Keystone XL through the ecologically sensitive Sandhills of Nebraska that lie atop one of America’s largest underground aquifers. ‘We know they’re toxic chemicals. So this is a severe concern for a lot of us people out here,’ Thompson says. ‘A lot of us people out here, we gotta drink this water. Be nice to know what the hell they’re pumping through it.’ TransCanada claims that its proposed Keystone XL line will be the safest of its kind ever built. ‘I believe we can absolutely build pipelines with new technology that are getting closer and closer to being leak free,’ Jones says.” [NPR.org, 2/26/12]

  • Despite Decline In Incidents, Still Over 100 “Significant Spills” Per Year From U.S. Pipelines. From the New York Times: “Federal records show that although the pipeline industry reported 25 percent fewer significant incidents from 2001 through 2010 than in the prior decade, the amount of hazardous liquids being spilled, though down, remains substantial. There are still more than 100 significant spills each year — a trend that dates back more than 20 years. And the percentage of dangerous liquids recovered by pipeline operators after a spill has dropped considerably in recent years.” [New York Times, 9/9/11]
  • Over 5,600 Incidents Releasing 110 Million Gallons From Pipelines Since 1990. From the New York Times: “Since 1990, more than 5,600 incidents were reported involving land-based hazardous liquid pipelines, releasing a total of more than 110 million gallons of mostly crude and petroleum products, according to analysis of federal data. The pipeline safety agency considered more than half — at least 100 spills each year — to be ‘significant,’ meaning they caused a fire, serious injury or fatality or released at least 2,100 gallons, among other factors.” [New York Times, 9/9/11]

[Narrator:] Martin Heinrich has gone Washington. Here’s proof: Heinrich votes with Nancy Pelosi nearly 90 percent of the time, and Heinrich is proud of his cap and trade vote, which could have raised energy costs and killed New Mexico jobs. Even worse, Heinrich voted against American energy exploration and the Keystone XL pipeline, costing America thousands of jobs. Martin Heinrich: Washington has changed him. It’s time to send him home. The U.S. Chamber is responsible for the content of this advertising. [U.S. Chamber via YouTube.com, 10/19/12]