By Sarah Knoploh , Business & Media Institute
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A House vote on Waxman-Markey’s American Clean Energy & Security Act to cap-and-trade emissions was imminent June 26. Some Republicans have called the bill “the largest tax increase in American history,” but despite the enormous burden to taxpayers the three major networks failed to cover the bill the night before.
ABC, NBC, and CBS instead devoted June 25 evening news programming to recently deceased celebrities, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. While the deaths of such iconic figures was certainly newsworthy, failing to provide coverage over legislation that would cost every American family $1,241 a year in higher energy bills was irresponsible.
The lack of network coverage on the cap-and-trade issue isn’t new (only 13 stories between Jan. 20 and May 25) and has contributed to ignorance and confusion about the issue.
On the June 25 edition of “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” Karen Harbert, of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that only 25 percent of Americans even understand what cap-and-trade is. It’s short hand for a policy that would try to forcibly lower U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Although proponents claim it is a solution to global warming, critics warn it will barely alter temperatures (a similar plan would have resulted in 0.013 degrees of ‘prevented’ warming) and a cap-and-trade schemes have failed to stop emissions from rising in Europe