Friday, May 22, 2009

The mindless rampant tyranny of cap-and-trade-and-tax-and-regulate

Waxman-Markey: Coercion for its own sake: "the cap-and-trade program occupies only one of four of the bill’s main sections (”titles”). Other titles contain a host of mandates and “incentives” (carrots and sticks) to reshape energy and transportation markets."

So this dreadful regulation scheme has 4 vectors of nanny-statist busybody tyranny, a belt-and-suspenders version of outrageous mind-blowing interference in our lives. Consider first the 'renewables' mandates:

* Requires utilities to meet a certain percentage of their load with electricity generated from renewable sources, like wind, biomass, solar, and geothermal.
* Promotes small-scale “distributed generation” of renewable electricity by offering three renewable electricity credits (instead of one credit) for each MWh produced.
* Authorizes electric power generators to create a Carbon Storage Research Consortium with the power to assess “fees” (aka taxes) totalling approximately $1 billion annually to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration plants.
* Directs the EPA Administrator to hand out free rationing coupons to subsidize CCS.
* Establishes a CCS mandate requiring new coal-fired power plants to emit 65% less carbon dioxide if permitted after 2020, and emit 50% less if permitted between 2009 and 2020; also requires EPA to review these standards not later than 2025 and every five years thereafter.

The first item is objectionable in general terms but it adds insult to injury by excluding safe, efficient and non-CO2 emitting nuclear power from the renewables mandate. If the object is to reduce CO2 emissions, include nuclear power in the mandate. The mandate is a mandate to increase electricity costs and distort if not destroy the utilities.

CCS is carbon sequestration, a useless concept based on the myth that CO2 is so harmful it needs to be buried. This is billions of dollars diverted from productive uses into something that is worthless.

* Requires utilities to ”consider” developing plans to support electric vehicle infrastructure, and provides assistance (including free emission allowances) to subsidize electric vehicles and infrastructure.
* Mandates stricter building codes achieving 30% higher energy efficiency in 2010 and 50% higher in 2016 for new buildings, and establishes a “building retrofit program” for existing residential and nonresidential buildings.
* Mandates tougher energy efficiency standards for indoor and outdoor lighting, hot food holding cabinets, bottle-type drinking water dispensers, hot tubs, commercial-grade natural gas furnaces, televisions, and other appliances.
* Requires the President, EPA, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and California to establish greenhouse gas (GHG)/fuel economy standards for new passenger cars and light trucks.
* Requires and sets deadlines for EPA to establish GHG emission standards for heavy-duty engines and vehicles and non-road vehicles including marine vessels, locomotives, and aircraft.
* Requires States to establish goals and submit transportation plans to reduce transport sector GHG emissions, and imposes sanctions on States that fail to comply.
* Requires the Deparment of Energy (DOE) to establish industrial energy-efficiency standards.

This is all pointless, draconian, jobs-destroying, wealth-destroying, mindless, rampant, tyranny.
This bill borders on the unconstitutional, even under an expansive view of 'commerce'. In short, a Waxman bill.

Consider the mindlessness of Government regulations dictating that we don't emit too much CO2 in the operation of "bottle-type drinking water dispensers". In order to push the needle of change in temperature in the globe by even a single degree requires many trillions of tons of CO2, emitted over decades. And all the electric bottle-type drinking water dispensers in the US put together don't add up to a mouse fart in a cat 5 hurricane. And what's worse, these enforced energy requirements are ignoring the consideration that maybe the electrical generation sourcing is from nuclear or hydro, and therefore the net CO2 generation from this is ... ZERO.

The building codes are even worse. Federal building codes are leading to the nationalization of matters that used to be state and local.

The supporters speak of 'green jobs'. Let's be clear that Greendoggle spending and green jobs are created in the wake of the economic destruction of massive regulation. The 'jobs created' are akin to the 'jobs created' when you have a hurricane blow through a region; plenty of jobs are created in the wake of the destruction of economic value and property. However in this case, the destruction of property is man-made. Trillions of dollars of economic value are getting destroyed by Waxman-Markey; it literally is a bill to destroy industrial sector wealth, productivity and property.

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