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Media Myth: Networks Ignore Trillion Dollar Price Tag of Climate Cap Bill

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Julia A. Seymour
Business & Media Institute
Thursday, May 28, 2009

The media love to fret over global warming, but now that a trillion-dollar scheme to address global warming could be just around the corner the networks have been curiously quiet.

On May 21, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill to cap carbon emissions and create an artificial trading market. The network news media didn’t mention it, but critics say the legislation would be a “huge threat to American prosperity and freedom.”

The Heritage Foundation estimates that this bill, known as Waxman-Markey, would cost $9.6 trillion in GDP loss and over a million jobs by 2035, but the network news media ignored the bill and almost never explained the cap-and-trade policy it seeks to enact.

ABC, CBS and NBC didn’t mention passage of the Waxman-Markey bill or discuss cap-and-trade over Memorial Day weekend, despite a global summit about climate change that took place in Copenhagen May 24-26. That summit was in preparation for a December U.N. convention to create a global plan of action regarding climate change.


The three networks have mentioned cap-and-trade in only 13 stories between Jan. 20 and May 25 even though it is a top priority for Obama, who said in November “few challenges” are “more urgent than combating climate change.” Nearly all (9 out of 13) instances were on the Sunday talk shows which have much smaller audiences than evening newscasts.

None of the stories were comprehensive – explaining the policy and thoroughly examining its costs to businesses, consumers and the national economy or citing past failures of cap-and-trade policies. Three of the four non-talk show segments merely mentioned of cap-and-trade.

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This article was posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 4:13 am

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