The Post proves again this morning that they need a fact-checker for their Fact Checker. Michael Dobbs attempts to counter Hillary Clinton's argument that the 2005 energy bill was the "Dick Cheney lobbyist energy bill" because it gave "enormous giveaways to oil and gas industry" by citing the Congressional Research Service's report that the bill will cost the energy industry "nearly $300 million over 11 years." Actually, if Dobbs had really attempted to fact-check this claim, he would have found that the 2005 bill provided $85.1 billion in tax breaks and authorized spending for the energy industry, as Taxpayers for Common Sense has thoroughly documented. It included huge handouts to the oil, coal, gas, and nuclear industries that the CRS report doesn't include in their analysis. Just a few of the many handouts in that energy bill: a 1.8 cent-per-kilowatt-hour production tax credit for new nuclear plants that will cost taxpayers up to $6 billion, $1.8 billion for "clean coal," and $1.55 billion for the "Texas Energy Center" in Sugar Land, Texas. So it's pretty fair for Clinton to peg the bill as the charity to the energy industry that is was.
Though the Post is once again manages to screw up the "facts" on energy policy, it was good to hear more discussion of climate and energy in the debate last night, including Clinton calling out Obama for voting for the 2005 energy bill, and Edwards calling for a moratorium on new nuclear plants and new coal-fired power plants unless they are equipped to capture greenhouse gas emissions. It was the first debate where there was really any substantial discussion of these issues and where the three candidates differ on them, and Obama even nailed the note Dems should be sounding on climate and energy policy: "There's no reason why, with the kind of presidential leadership that I intend to provide, that we can't make drastic cuts in the amount of energy that we consume without any drop in our standard of living."