NYT Gives Cap and Trade Critics One Sentence: the Last One

Could the New York Times not find an outspoken critic of the Senate's new Cap and Trade bill? Either one could not be found, or they opted not to include such a critic in the paper's report on the unveiling of the legislation.

The Times devoted 21 paragraphs to the new Kerry-Lieberman Cap and Trade bill -- proposed on Wednesday -- but did not even mention an actual critic of the legislation until the very last sentence of the story. Right after it noted that hardcore environmentalists think "the bill did not go far enough and offered too many concessions to win industry support," the Times quoted the Chamber of Commerce, which thinks the bill is a " 'work in progress' and may prove too costly to business."

Of course the Times needn't go further than President Obama himself to find a person who thinks a Cap and Trade plan will make electricity rates "necessarily skyrocket." The Times did note that energy companies could "pass along" higher costs to consumers, but gave no voice to critics or details of the criticism.

The paper also reported on the political concerns expressed by Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C. But Graham supported the legislation, and only expressed misgivings about its political prospects this year, not about the damage that it could do to the economy.

And it could do a whole lot of damage, according to its critics. Sen. James Inhofe, Ranking Member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, called the program the bill proposes "a huge tax on the American people."

Americans for Prosperity released a statement yesterday saying the bill "uses crony capitalism to buy off political opposition in order to appease the environmental left."

The American Council for Affordable and Reliable Energy, a group with ties to the coal industry, called the Kerry-Lieberman bill "nothing more than an assault on taxpayers, the economy and the energy sector."

The Times is not obligated to agree with these assessments, but it could have at least included some meaningful criticism of the bill in its story. None of the critiques were difficult to find. If a Google search weren't sufficient, surely AFP, ACARE, or Sen. Inhofe would have been happy to make a statement.