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SURPRISE: Polluter-Backed Groups Using Discredited Attacks on Clean Power Plan

June 30, 2014 - 08:38

Another day, another distortion from the myriad front groups doing the dirty work for big polluters. This week, its Karl Rove’s infamous “Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies” - a group that is anything but grassroots - that is pushing figures from a discredited U.S. Chamber of Commerce report to fuel its own unfounded claims.

Crossroads GPS, the “nonprofit” group attached to Republican strategist Karl Rove’s notoriously dirty fuel-funded Super PAC American Crossroads Super PAC, released the a new ad in Colorado on Wednesday, and they are spending $315,000 to run it in Denver, Colorado over the next few days. In the 30 second clip, Crossroads attacks Sen. Mark Udall for supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

In doing so, Rove’s group cites a critical Chamber of Commerce report that has been discredited by both the The Washington Post’s fact-checker and the EPA. The problem? That pro-pollution report was released even before the Clean Power Plan was announced -- meaning its predictions for the Plan were unfounded and unrealistic. That’s part of the reason why the Post’s factcheckers derided attacks backed by the sloppy report as worthy of “four pinocchios” while noting that numbers from the Chamber  “do not apply at all to the EPA rule as written.”

But Karl Rove and his associates have never been the types to let facts stand in the way of an attack ad. Instead, they claim the Chamber’s work shows the new standards will “drive up electricity bills” and “hurt middle class families.”

It’s not easy for the average viewer to see the citation - its in tiny font on the bottom of the screen. Its no wonder why - Crossroads wanted to try and hide its flawed reasoning.

The truth about the Clean Power Plan is totally different. Centered around the first-ever standards to clean up carbon pollution from power plants, this plan would ultimately reduce average electric bills by about 9 percent and spur the transition to cleaner energy. The plan will also improve the quality of the air we breathe by reducing the emission of pollutants that create soot and smog by 25%, resulting in 150,000 fewer asthma attacks, 3,300 fewer heart attacks, and 6,600 fewer premature deaths.  

Those are just a few of the Plan’s benefits - and a few of the reasons we expect the huge majorities of Americans who already back the plan to grow.  In fact, polling from NBC and the Wall Street Journal shows that 67 percent of Americans back the plan.

There’s a reason big polluters and their allies have to result to distortions: the candidate they are supporting has a record that he should be hiding from. Congressman Cory Gardner is challenging Udall - and dragging a record full of attacks on clean air, clean water, and clean energy with him. Big polluters like the Koch brothers are out trying to prop up Gardner and elect someone who will push their dangerous agenda. That’s because the reality is that time and again, Gardner has shown his loyalties lay with his big polluting benefactors rather than his Coloradan constituents.

There are bound to be more distortions on the Clean Power Plan before election day -- but attacking a proposal this popular is a losing issue for polluters. Colorado voters need not buy into their distortions.


--Sierra Club Media Team