New Advocacy Ads Are Misleading
Cornwall Alliance says Radio Ads in “Swing States” Lying about EPA Carbon Dioxide Regulation
(March 3, 2010, Washington, DC) – With unemployment hovering around 10% nationally and the economy remaining shaky, a bi-partisan group of more than forty senators is cosponsoring a joint Senate and House resolution to prevent unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Air Act to enact costly regulations of carbon dioxide.
Some Green lobbyists are upset by the resolution. According to NoDirtyAirAct.com, “We must stop this attempt to turn back the clock on the Clean Air Act – a law with a nearly 40-year track record of cutting dangerous pollution to protect human health and the environment and spur innovation.”
But the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation says that the group has its facts wrong. “The forty-year alarm is pure fantasy,” says Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, National Spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance. “The resolution disapproves only the EPA’s intent to regulate carbon dioxide emissions based on an EPA ‘endangerment finding’ that stretches all way back to December 7, 2010,” he says.
The self-described “progressive” American Values Network (AVN), set up and run by Burns Strider (a former Senior Advisor and Director of Faith-Based Outreach for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign), is busy running ads in key swing states (Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota) to oppose the Murkowski Resolution. Unfortunately the ads, just like NoDirtyAirAct.com, do not tell the truth regarding the legislation.
Beisner states, “The ads claim that the resolution ‘guts America’s clean air laws.’ But there aren’t any laws already restricting carbon dioxide. The resolution prohibits the EPA from making new regulations. It doesn’t require it to dispense with already existing ones.”
A Louisiana ad sponsored by the left-wing group Catholics United claims that the resolution would “roll back the Clean Air Act – a law that protects us from polluters putting poison into the air we breathe.” But the only emission the resolution addresses is carbon dioxide, which isn’t already regulated (so there’s no roll back) and isn’t poisonous except at a level of about 50,000 parts per million in the air we breathe. That’s 130 times the present level. At today’s rate of increase (about 1.75 parts per million per year) it would take about 28,000 years to reach that level.
According to Beisner, “Not only is carbon dioxide not poisonous and not a pollutant, it’s vital to life. Insects, animals, and humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, while all plants take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen in photosynthesis. It’s an essential part of how they produce fiber. And all insects, animals, and human beings depend on plants for sustenance.”
Whether they like or hate Murkowski’s resolution, those who discuss it have a responsibility at least not to lie about it. That’s what NoDirtyAirAct.com’s, AVN’s, and Catholics United’s ads do.
AVN has tried before to fabricate the appearance of strong evangelical support for policy to fight global warming by costly cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. The appearance was illusory last year, when it campaigned for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. And it’s illusory now.
Where do America’s religious leaders really stand on climate change and the attempt to fight it with drastic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions?
A good place to begin would be with the Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, released in December and already signed by over 500 people including hundreds of pastors, theologians, college presidents, policy experts, and other leaders. Based on a landmark study by twenty-nine evangelical scholars, the Declaration denies that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and warns that attempts to cut emissions will harm the poor by driving up energy and all other costs.
Drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions would cost the country hundreds of billions of dollars, make millions jobless, and drive up prices for energy and everything else people buy. They would hurt the poor worst of all. No wonder support for Murkowski’s resolution is bi-partisan and strong.
The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation is a national coalition of clergy, theologians, religious leaders, scientists, economists, and policy experts committed to bringing a balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development.
Since 2005, the Cornwall Alliance has emerged as the go-to voice for the mainstream evangelical perspective on issues of environmental stewardship and development. Over 500 people—including hundreds of pastors, theologians, college presidents, policy experts, and other leaders—have signed An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming (http://www.CornwallAlliance.org/evangelical-declaration), and thousands of pastors, evangelical leaders, and laymen have joined major Christian organizations in the WeGetIt.org campaign (http://www.WeGetIt.org), in which Cornwall is a partner.