Mathematics for Sale!

The well-paid but discredited chorus of polluter-paid chicken littles has struck up its lucrative dirge in Virginia, by floating a "study" that claims economic doomsday will ensue if Virginia takes action on climate change by reducing carbon pollution under the Clean Power Plan.

Bad timing for them: the electric market operator tasked with keeping our lights on at the lowest possible cost just released a real analysis that shows that power costs in Virginia will in fact be cheaper with the Clean Power Plan than without it.

Hollow cries of economic calamity are a tried-and-true technique employed by polluters every time they are asked to clean up their own act, instead of dumping pollutants on the rest of us for free, be it by making Virginians breath dirty air or sticking them with the tab for the cleanup of climate change-related disasters like sea-level rise and extreme weather.

This time, a well-paid lobbyist (whom 60 Minutes charmingly dubbed Dr. Evil) is peddling an already-discredited "analysis" (courtesy of the debunked and denounced "Beacon Hill Institute") which announces that if polluters slow their now-unlimited dumping of carbon pollution, the sky will fall!

Pollutor lobbyists hope hyperventilating studies like this will overshadow the real studies and analyses (ones NOT done by lobbyists), which all show the Clean Power Plan will be an economic boon in Virginia: not only could electric bills fall by over 7% by 2030 and 5,600 jobs be created in 2020 due to increased energy efficiency, Virginia could also finally catch up with its neighbors in the 21st century clean energy economy, be it West Virginia in wind energy, North Carolina with its solar energy boom, or Maryland in achieving an energy efficiency improvement of a whopping 15% statewide.

The polluter lobby will gain little traction with Virginians, trumped up numbers or no: poll after poll show that Virginians (like the rest of America) know that addressing climate change and the Clean Power Plan will be an economic benefit, just as Governor McAuliffe knows that clean energy is the way forward to a stronger and healthier Virginia economy.

Indeed, recurring canards like BHI's study are proven wrong every time: when Americans make polluters clean up their act, be it through the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air Act or any other democratic law that protects citizens by halting unlimited and free dumping, the economy grows and GDP expands. What else would you expect when humans become healthier and more productive?

Of course, there will always be a small minority that profits from continued pollution. But with pretend reports like these, lucrative squawking becomes an inaudible peep.