Upton still pushing EPA / gas price myth

Despite being debunked by Politifact, Rep. Fred Upton is still claiming that a bill to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases will lower gasoline prices.

Last week, Reps. Fred Upton and Ed Whifield sent a letter to colleagues claiming that EPA rules would push small refiners out of business, leading to higher prices:

H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, is the first in this legislative series to stop rising gas prices by halting EPA’s Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulations. … If small refiners are forced out of business, competition will suffer and American motorists, truckers and farmers will be increasingly reliant on foreign refiners to supply our nation’s gasoline and diesel fuel.”

Politifact gave this claim a “False” rating, pointing out that the EPA rules won’t take effect for several years and that, even if some refiners did go out of business, gas prices are influenced by too many factors to know if that would make an impact:

While Upton and Whitfield’s letter is carefully worded, it frames the argument for the bill in the context of today’s trend of rising gasoline prices. Yet the impact of the bill — if there is an one — would be years away. And there’s no proof that the law would actually stop gas prices from rising. The added regulations now being planned may hamper U.S. refiners, but the international free market could just as easily end up keeping refining costs low.

Upton (or at least his communications people) remains unfazed. A reader flagged this tweet just a few minutes ago:

The tweet links to an article from a radio station in Michigan that not only repeats the “higher gas prices” claim, but also a myth that EPA rules amount to a “backdoor” cap-and-trade system.

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