Skip to comments.Cato Scholar Comments on New Energy Bill
Posted on 12/19/2007 10:12:53 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The energy bill to be signed by the president today is arguably the worst piece of energy legislation ever enacted into law. It will substantially increase the price of automobiles, increase highway fatalities, increase fuel prices, worsen air pollution, and force consumers to buy products (like super-efficient light bulbs) that they manifestly -- and for very good reason -- do not want to buy. It will transfer huge amounts of wealth from the consumer to the farm lobby in the course of promoting a dubious product -- ethanol -- that will make energy supplies less reliable and greenhouse gas emission higher than necessary.
A bit of a strech........Don't you think?
The trouble is people will not accept change sometimes unless you force it upon them. I tried putting timers on the light switches in classrooms once for a test. It only took the users a couple of days to bring in electrical tape and tape the timer switches in the on position so they would never shutoff.
Next I tried using motion switches to shut the lights off when the room was not occupied. So the students and the instructor would practice setting motionless and see how long it would take for them to make the lights go out.
Some people never get it unless it is forced upon them. Saving energy and money are very important goals.
No, they will do like they did when they mandated that toilets could only use a prescribed amount of water to flush. You no longer can buy toilets that use the old amount of water. Soon, you will no longer be able to buy the incandescent light bulb. It will go the way of the dial phone, the record player and the soon to be VHS player.
You mean the free enterprise that comes from a government mandate out of Congress, right?
And by fair, you also mean subsidized, right? As in subsidized by my tax dollar.
Everybody knows you can’t win in the midwest unless you ‘take the pledge’ right?
That isn’t ‘Free’ and it isn’t an ‘Enterprise’ especially when the lion’s share of the benefits go to ADM.
No, it’s ‘expensive’, and it’s planned economics - which is what the Soviets tried and failed with.
“Sometimes change for the better has to be a forced change.”
Marx (Lenin, Stalin, Mao), is that you? You really don’t believe in freedom, do you? You highlight the fundamental difference we have here. I believe that individuals, left to their own, will make the right choices via the market. You believe that individuals can’t be trusted to make their own choices. Your viewpoint is anti-American and stems from a philosophy that has caused untold human suffering. The empirical evidence is my favor on this one: economic freedom works every time it’s tried.
Another over hyped media statement. The mercury content of lamps is becoming less and less. The new lamps have far less Mercury than the old style lamps. Even the new T8 lamps are smaller and more efficient than the old T12 lamps.
I am from Michigan the car capital of the world (was anyway). I know what higher gas mileage will do the car industry. It will make them better and not worse. I once had a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 with a 275 HP V8 engine. It got 18 mph. My new Escape only get 18 mph and is a dinky 3.0 V6. Where is the improvement? My 500 weighed over 4400 pounds and was a boat compared to my Escape. If you don't force Detroit to make they better. They never will.
We will be able to use less energy per person. You are wrong about not being able to conserve. I have won awards for conserving energy. I know that it can be done. The energy bill that comes due each month has been my proof.
The 'fair market' doesn't have a thing to do with what's going on in the corn market. Farmers are the largest bunch of welfare whiners in the country.
This bill sucks and should be vetoed.
“Energy Independence” is a canard.
If the US fails to use lowest cost energy supplies, where ever they may come from, it acts only to subsidize the energy use of China India and the EU.
In a relatively free market, the price mechanism allocates resources efficiently, something Congress has never done, and cannot do, because it is comprised of stupid people responding to hysterical deceptions propigated by our leftist dominated media. When it is more efficient to manufacture and use an alternative technology, the market will shift to it, if the forces of supply and demand are left alone to react to changing conditions and changing technologies. Only the ultimate users can evaluate and chose among competing technologies as to what is most useful to them in a particular application.
Coercive government action creating a mandated preference for particular technologies, is by definition a giant waste of money, and will for certain, have massive unforeseen consequences.
Free speech itself, is eroded and devalued, if consumers are not free to express their market choices, except only as to government approved energy sources and forms. Freedom of association, which can only be fairly read to have encompassed freedom to chose with whom and as to what one deals commercially, was long ago diminsished and eviserated by the political and intellectual elite, whose dominate motive in life is the seeking of CONTROL over others whom they envy.
It may seem like a light bulb to some, but it is the United States of American and its founding principles that are being rendered obsolete by the current round of environmental ideology. Such principles may be regarded as irrelevant abstractions by many, but when and if this latest round of government imperatives, restrictions and reproaches (how dare you drive an SUV?) are substantially implemented and epidemic of economic polio will visit the American economy... read: your job, your income, your real estate and investment values will all be diminished... like it or not you will be buying more than Healthcare from your friendly HMO.
Sometimes you are right and sometimes I am right. Some people will change or do the right things. However, some people will not do anything unless prodded into it. An extreme example of this are all the population of the prison systems.
I was only referring to the energy bill and not to government in general. The truth be known, I am most likely a bigger conservative that you are. Proof being, I don't bash the President. I realize he is only one person, doing what he can to make a difference. Some of his ideas are good and some are bad. I hope he will become enlightened on the bad one and I support him whole heartily on the good ones. In the meantime, I do not give aid and comfort to the enemy liberals by bashing what we have. I try to make the best of it.
Like I said in my original post. B.S.
You got one part right. B.S.
I have HDTV and I watch it on Broadcast Antenna. It is beautiful. I love it. Sorry, your experience with it was not so good.
No. The government does not have the authority to tell companies or people how efficient their automobile or light bulb must be.
Economics should dictate the light bulb market, not some silly notion about global warming and evil coal, or someone's belief that energy efficiency should be x%. If x% is good, then why not (x+y)% efficient? Higher efficiency is better, right?
It's like the minimum wage argument, there isn't any basis for saying any wage should be minimum. No matter how high they raise the minimum wage, there is always the same argument that can say a higher wage should be the minimum wage. In similar fashion, the government really doesn't have any authority to tell anyone what they should pay someone else.
“if you don’t force Detroit to make they better. They never will.”
You really trust government planners more than the free market don’t you?
Well I can see at least one little potential problem with more of these new government laws and regulations. I notice that a lot of entrepeneurs, and companies of all sizes use these full size pick ups and vans in their businesses either to haul trailers, men, merchandise, and equipment in them. These new mileage requirements will basically ban all these vans and full size pickups ( like the Ram 3500, Ford F350, F250 ,f150 etc). That would destroy our economy.
Plus if liberals and your government planners would have allowed companies to drill for oil , mine for coal, or build refineries or coal to gasoline plants then we wouldn’t have any “energy crises”. this energy crises was created by government. coal to gasoline liquefaction alone could solve all our energy needs as the U.S. has 600 years of coal. but liberals say that coal causes global warming and with the 20 years of red tape and laws suits that it takes to build a plant that is why we have an energy crises.
It’s government that’s the problem . the 3 trillion that government takes away from the private sector per year could have been used in a free market to create many coal power plants and coal to gasoline plants which would solve our energy needs . government is the problem but many like you who were educated in the government schools want more government.
It’s all those laws that are written already that make a company have to fight through a maze of lawsuits and apply to the government for 20 years to build a plant. now you want to add more regulations to the automobile industry.
like others have said here , freedom and capitalism have worked if allowed to remain free but with so many regulations capitalism can become crippled and government planning has never worked.
Also global warming is hoax. So there is no need for any mileage standards. if you remove all these laws, reduce the federal budget, and reduce the size of government then the private companies will have the freedom, latitude, incentive and capital to create much more energy which will solve the energy crises.
I now suspect that you are either:
1) on the government payroll, or
2) stand to gain financially some other way by imposing your will concerning conservation.
Furthermore, I have won this debate. Your arguments have lost.
In our economy many businesses of all sizes use these trucks like the Ford F-150, F250,F350, Dodge Ram 3500. And they don’t get the kind of mileage you and the government wants to mandate and has mandated. So our economy is going to get destroyed because people can’t use these trucks anymore as they do much of the work in the economy to haul trailers, equipment ,merchandise , men etc.
We don’t need the government for anything except the military,courts and police.
The free market takes care of any problem. For example as gasoline starts to get more costly then more people will naturally buy cars that get higher mileage like the smaller cars so there is no need for government to mandate higher mileage because people will naturally want to save money and buy the smaller cars that get higher mileage.
bookmark & bump
“Like I said in my original post. B.S.”
Now THERE’S logical discourse for you folks!
I’ll tell you what, I’m going to lower the price of our company’s products, and then send you a bill. Sound OK?
-try using dimmer switch on a flourecent light bulb, dumbass.
Furthermore it’s none of your damn business, or the federal government either, if I want to drive a gas hog, or use incandecent light bulbs, which I prefer to have in my home.
With regards to the above statements, who is the dumbass? I was not trying to dim the lights, I was turning them off automatically.
Guess you got me there. I do not have the foggiest idea what you are rambling about.
Sure each people can cut down their usage a some, for a time, all I’m saying is that we will never be able to conserve ourselves into energy independence. New buildings are being built, babies are born, and while switching to new bulbs might save some, people are going top end up buying a new plasma, which uses 10x more power. In a growing economy, we will never be able to cut our energy useage as a nation, at least for any sustained period of time.
Can individual businesses cut out inefficiencies? Yes. Can individual homeowners? Again, yes. But so long as our economy continues to grow (which is an major IF, if we continue on down this road to a European style economy), the new houses and factories being built will outweigh any cuts.
They are centrally planned over-priced charges to (1) buy Iowa corn farmers votes, (2) make it APPEAR to the enviro extremists and the news media that the “green” “natural” products are being used to APPEAR like Washington politicians “care” about the environment.
Never mind that now people will pay MORE for food - no, we must waste money artificially INCREASIING the price of food so we hurt more people and make energy costs go up. There is no actual benefit to ethanol in the US. Overseas, where ethanol comes from non-corn sources, AND where fossil oil is NOT available like Brazil, ethanol is an expensive substitute.
But here? It is a politically popular waste of energy.
Manufactured only by our close friend and ally: CHINA!
Those bulbs contain mercury. They should be banned, just like the lead toys.
Anyone considered what the EPA will do about these bulbs? We may be looking at fines if not disposed properly.
” I once had a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 with a 275 HP V8 engine. It got 18 mph. My new Escape only get 18 mph and is a dinky 3.0 V6. Where is the improvement? My 500 weighed over 4400 pounds and was a boat compared to my Escape. If you don’t force Detroit to make they better. They never will.”
You clearly haven’t realized it, but this example proves the ineffectiveness of the Government meddling in the automotive industry. Look at all the requirements placed upon auto manufacturers regarding emissions, gasoline, etc. between ‘67 and your new Escape.
It’s the same reason my 289 HiPo cranks out over 300 HP with a comparatively simple to maintain carbuerated engine, but to get 300 HP now, you have to be an engineer to maintain the car yourself, or pay out the nose to have it done for you.
Improvements in fuel economy will result in people driving more. Improvements in lighting efficiency will result in people using/wasting more light. In general, making something cheaper will cause people to use more. While improving energy efficiency may be good for other reasons, it will generally not be very good at reducing energy consumption.
Exactly. It’s human nature. I forget what my point is, but I agree with you 100%
Does that mean we end all farm subsidies?
I would certainly hope so. Subsidies lower the price of our food, inducing fatties (like me) to eat more.
You don’t understand how farm subsidies work.
There is a old saying that says never argue with fools........
Well spoken. Boondoggles are the most likely result of these mandates. A boondoggle is a wasted investment. The push in the 1990s for low earth satellite technology to provide high speed internet service was a boondoggle. Private industry makes wrong bets but private capital is at stake, not public tax dollars. Private industry boondoggles are terminated and future investors learn from the failures. Unfortunately, government boondoggles never end. Instead of terminating them, more tax revenue is directed towards them. Here are some government boondoggles:
- Social security: a generational Ponzi scheme
- Medicare: a generational Ponzi scheme
- Medicaid: creeping universal insurance
- Farm subsidies: the power of sparsely populated farm states in the US Senate
- Flood insurance: making the rest pay for risky home choices
- Space station: what has been accomplished other than to subsidize the Russian space program?
With this new energy bill, you can add ethanol mandates and bio fuel mandates. If the rats get their way, you can add renewable mandates.
How come? Are these subsidies that incentivize the farmers NOT to grow food?
OK, explain it to me, smartass.
That’s what I’m trying to get at. Who says some subsidies don’t incentivize farmers to grow more (and, therefore, cheaper) food for the domestic market? (Although I wouldn’t know it, judging by the prices for apples that I’ve seen up until recently.)
One truly grotesque example of the agricultural subsidies is to corn farmers. This makes it cheaper for manufacturers of soft drinks, candy, bread, etc. to use high-fructose corn syrup instead of sugar, which, due to its coming from a protected class of growers, has been made higher in price by this protectionism. If I understand correctly, HFCS contributes to obesity big-time and is pure poison for diabetics.
And I am aware that price supports are a form of subsidy in themselves, since they make their products more expensive than they’d otherwise be. Only we subsidize these farmers through our purchases rather than our taxes.
Have you read the links I provided to you? The data show that they increase prices for the domestic market.
*** DIE, CORPORATE SCUM!!! ***
-Most people prefer to have the option and availability of dimming their lights in their homes in the evening. Dimmer switches are very popular, especially in the living and dining rooms.
Dimmer switches don’t work on fluorescent light bulbs, in fact aren't allowed.
Anyone with half a brain understands this amenity.
-and anyone who isn't a socialist-busybody-control freak, agrees with the individual's right to continue to use incandescent light bulbs, if they so desire. Most people do desire that, for the express reasons I mentioned above. But you clearly don't understand that, and that makes YOU: A dumbass.
Mr. Taylor writes well about economics. The problem with this bill is that it is a central plan just like the kind the Soviet Politburo used to issue. We all know how successful the Soviet central plans were. This bill will lead to boondoggles and not solve any problems.
By definition, rats are economic midgets. I find it shocking that Bush and conservatives to supported this mess.
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