Skip to comments.Keep congressional SCUM out of the economy!
Posted on 10/03/2004 8:09:16 AM PDT by bryankdonnelly
"Clean Air Act" causes more problems than it solves. Keep congressional scum out of the economy!
One provision of the "Clean Air" act is particularly laughable; "Clean coal technology." The American West (AZ, NM, CO, UT, NV) is practically COVERED with huge near surface easily and cheaply extracted deposits of practically sulphur free coal. This bonanza feeds the free world's largest coal fired power plant, the Navaho Generating Station, in the northeast corner of Arizona. This plant provides electric power to six states! It is fed by a continuous railroad of coal cars from nearby surface mines. Navaho produces little pollution because it burns almost sulphur free western coal.
This same coal is an excellent alternative for Eastern power plants. Even factoring in the transportation costs, this coal is not only far lower sulphur (and thus pollution) but it actually COSTS LESS delivered to, say Ohio, or Michigan, or New York! Why then dont we use this seemingly God given resource to solve the Eastern "smoke stack" pollution problem? Congress forbids it!
You see, Western coal has several huge drawbacks. 1. It is not mined in the East. 2. It is so easy to extract, far fewer workers are required. The mines are completely automated. 3. It's well paid miners are not unionized. 4. Western coal miners and producers don't contribute heavily to several influential Democrat Senators.
Yes, during the debate on the "Clean Air Act," several liberal Democratic US Senators (Byrd W.VA., Simon, Ill., Rockefeller, W.Va., and Metzenbaum, Oh. among others) forced a provision which BANNED COAL SUBSTITUTION. So American industry was forced to spend many billions of non productive dollars on stack scrubber technology. Incidentally, the firms which produce this expensive machinery lobbied heavily and contributed heavily to the very same Senators! What a surprise!
But, not to worry, the liberals all FELT GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES because they'd DONE SOMETHING. Now, in the process, they'd killed many thousands of jobs by saddling power generation companies with completely unnecessary expensive (and unreliable) capital equipment. And, outside the Federally subsidized TVA area, they'd saddled every electricity consumer with higher power bills and added substantially to the cost of everything produced with electric power from cars to aluminum. But that's OK! No need to worry, they'd done something about pollution!
Yet another bit of liberal idiocy may be found in the "Clean Air" requirements for gasoline "anti-pollution" additives. The Phoenix area is in a valley surrounded by fairly high mountains. Thus in the winter, like many other western cities with similar geography, it has a pollution "problem." Actually most of this "problem" consists of entirely harmless particulate matter that produces a completely harmless haze. However this haze is UN-ASTHETIC. Its NOT PRETTY, even though it is generally gone by about 10 AM. It HAD TO GO. So the EPA, following the dictates of the "Clean Air' act, required Maricopa County and many other such western metro areas to add MTBE (a petroleum based additive) to the gas in winter. We could have equally well used ethanol (grain alcohol) produced from corn, but apparently the corn state lobbyists were out fought (and spent) by the oil lobbyists in the Senate. So we ended up with MTBE.
The MTBE added about five cents a gallon to the consumer cost, reduced automobile performance noticeably, and also tended to cause mechanical problems. But the people put up with it because, after all, we were "solving the pollution 'problem.'"
A few years ago we discovered that MTBE CAUSED MORE POLLUTION THAN IT SOLVED! And apart from the air problem, the stuff was so corrosive that it was leaking out of gas station tanks and polluting the ground water with it's highly toxic chemicals. So the idiotic EPA then pulled the stuff!
But, when ambulance chasing claims lawyers started SUING the gas stations, oil companies etc. who'd been FORCED TO USE THE GARBAGE, the Democrats in the Senate filibustered to death a bill which would have shielded the industry from lawsuits! Seems the trial lawyers, good Democrats all, didn't want to lose such a promising source of income from legal extortion.
Its a bit like their opposition to litigation protection for shipyards that had, during and after World War II, used asbestos in the ships they built for the Navy; it was REQUIRED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! So now the trial lawyers are reaping huge rewards through lawsuits against these same companies. After all, millionaire Democrat lawyers need to make a living!
I guess what I'm saying here is that politicians (of either party) should not be permitted to even be involved in such matters at all! Perhaps we should leave such regulation to the Insurance industry; they, after all, would have to provide the money from damages.
Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is a bad form of government, only all the others are so much worse!" But democracy is a really BAD way to regulate industry. Generally, those elected to office, by the very process of election by the ignorant electorate, become DEMOGAUGIC SCUM! If you had a business and wanted it to prosper, would you choose as the board of directors the 535 members of congress? No way! Small wonder that Social Security is such a complete mess!
We really need constitutional reform to keep politicians completely out of the productive economy. What about necessary regulation? Perhaps it would be best to hand that function over to a non elected body like the Federal Reserve, IMF, or World Bank. A quasi private group less inclined to consult to what Edmund Burke called "the transitory passions of the swinish multitude."
Whoever posted the message up top, kudos to you if you wrote it yourself.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.