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Fact Check: Cap-and-Trade

This has become a common accusation from Bob McDonnell: That Creigh Deeds supports cap-and-trade. McDonnell uses as an example the fact that a larger employer and Deeds's back yard in western Virginia, paper manufacturer MeadWestvaco, supports him and not Deeds.

Deeds never has said he supports the bill in Congress now. Today, Deeds said it more clearly than he's done before: "I don't support the bill." He supports "long-term" efforts to thwart climate change, but he won't support any bill that has the effect of increasing fuel prices during a recession.

Some other facts:

Deeds's campaign has offered a detailed policy paper on energy that is silent on the wisdom of cap-and-trade. On the campaign trail until now, Deeds also has been reluctant to state his position, saying it's a federal matter.

As proof of support, Republicans cite a questionnaire Deeds filled out during the primary, in which Deeds said he favored "the many measures" suggested by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's Commission on Climate Change, of which Deeds was a member. One of the commission's recommendations was to urge Congress "to establish a mandatory economy-wide cap-and-trade program."

The second question goes to the heart of the debate about whether the American Clean Energy and Security Act will create jobs or zap them.

President Obama said the cap-and-trade bill "will create new businesses, new industries and millions of new jobs." Others, such as the conservative Heritage Foundation, predict that the bill could eliminate nearly 1.9 million jobs by 2012.

Mark R. George, a MeadWestvaco vice president who oversees the Covington plant, said in a video created for the McDonnell campaign that the legislation could cost his plant "$60 to $80 million a year once you hit 2014."

By Amy Gardner  |  September 17, 2009; 11:32 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Governor's Race Fact Checker , Amy Gardner  
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