Click here for the 1428-page Waxman-Markey bill.
Archive for June, 2009
Pacific Gas & Electric’s special program to charge consumers more for electricity in return for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is proving to be nothing short of a rip-off.
California regulators approved in December 2006 PG&E’s three-year plan to raise electricity rates in order to collect $16.4 million which was to go toward the utility’s “ClimateSmart” program, an effort to offset its greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees. The program, launched in June 2007, also allowed consumers to sign-up by voluntarily agreeing to pay more for electricity.
Two years in the program, PG&E is seeking an 18-month extension of ClimateSmart because it has neither met its greenhouse gas reduction committment — it’s 500,000 tons short of the 1.5 million-ton target — nor has it signed up the number of customers originally predicted (0.6 percent actual vs. 3.3. percent predicted), according to a report in Carbon Control News (June 29).
Ratepayer advocacy groups had criticized the program as wasteful and aimed mainly at enhancing PG&E’s image as a leading green utility.
As it turns out, PG&E is merely providing additional evidence that “green” is synonymous with “fraud.”
- A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
- A piece of trickery; a trick.
- a. One that defrauds; a cheat.
b. One who assumes a false pose; an impostor.
- Anything labeled as “green.”
General Electric is getting yet more taxpayer money, possibly laundered federal money, to subsidize its business.
A GE press release announced that the state of Michigan will provide GE with $60 million to build a $100 million “technology & software center” — what used to be known as an “office building.”
While the source of the Michigan subsidy could be Michigan taxpayers, given how strapped the state is from auto industry losses, it’s quite possible that the Obama administration is funneling U.S. taxpayer stimulus money through Michigan to GE.
Michigan’s budget problems are so severe, after all, that the state has offered to house prisoners from California’s burgeoning prisons.
We reported in May that GE received $55 million in taxpayer subsidies to build a hybrid locomotive battery plant in New York.
You can almost hear GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who sits on President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, chanting to the President, “Give me the money.” In return, Immelt, the new corporate welfare queen, is helping Presdient Obama advance his global warming and health care agendas.
Watch Steve Milloy’s June 29 appearance on Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck.
What are the chances of the Senate signing on to Waxman-Markey (or something like it)? Here are the top ten reasons to be very afraid:
- Every politician has his price and the Obama administration is printing money like there’s no tomorrow.
- Likely Senate supporters include the 57 Senate Democrats (Al Franken included), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME). Those 61 votes are enough to avoid filibuster and pass a bill. Because of #1, above, don’t expect many Democrat defections. Because of #3, below, do expect some Republicans to defect. The 2010 elections threaten no one — they are too far away and, in this catastrophe-a-day-world, everyone will forget about Waxman-Markey, especially since its pain doesn’t set in until 2012 or later.
- Senate Republicans ill-informed, inarticulate, dispirited and disorganized. They inspire little no confidence.
- Al Gore, greens and corporate rent-seekers will pull out all the stops as their dreams of a green corporate welfare state are actually within grasp.
- Businesses that aren’t lobbying for a climate bill are divided, dazed and confused. To the extent that they are spending their precious few resources to fight climate regulation, it has been on so-far-useless coalitions.
- Skeptics are outmanned, outgunned and shunned by the businesses described in #5, above.
- Obama will use health care, immigration and other emerging/existing policy issues to distract opponents and entice supporters.
- The mainstream media is unabashedly shilling for Waxman-Markey (or a worse bill) while skeptic-friendly outlets are overwhelmed and distracted with the depth and breadth of the Obama administration’s assault on America.
- The Democrats are ready to pull any trick to win — witness the surprise addition of a 300-page “manager’s amendment” to the Waxman-Markey bill at 3am on the day of the vote. Boehner’s heroics aside, Republicans should have tossed House rules aside and screamed bloody murder to prevent a vote. While the Republicans play by Marquess of Queensbury rules, Henry Waxman and the Democrats are busy sticking shivs into them.
- Taxpayers and consumers are way under-represented in Washington, DC, especially when compared to the global warming lobby. They also fail to understand that Waxman-Markey is no mere energy tax — it’s a frontal assault on the American way of life.
The bottom line: the greens are, at present, a handful of Senate votes away from a goose-stepping triumph. It will take a near-miracle to avoid this fate.
A “Shower Nazi” may be coming your way courtesy of Waxman-Markey.
Section 217 of the bill provides for a “water efficient product incentive program” that would provide rebates, vouchers, direct installs and other forms of financial assistance for the installation of water-saving products.
During my radio interview last Friday with Bob Jamison (Kern Valley News, KNCQ 102.5 FM / Bakersfield, CA), Jamison, a motel owner, told me that he had been solicited by the seller of the “Shower Manager,” a water-saving device. Curious, I went to the Shower manager web site.
Here’s how the Shower Manager works:
The Shower Manager not only puts time limits on the shower, it also cuts the water flow when the time has expired. Our unique shower timer is a patented two-phase flow controller that permits a full-flow of water for a time period you select, (5, 8 or 11 minutes) and then restricts the water flow by two-thirds when that time limit expires. You set the full-flow Interval that best fits your lifestyle and lock it in using a special magnetic sensor.
Here’s a letter from an actual satisfied customer of Shower Manager that is posted on the product web site:
Your product is awesome! We have had it for two weeks now and it works like a charm! My kids call it the Shower Nazi… but with the savings on water, we’ll be able to reward them at the end of the month!
Thanks, Lisa J
So your tax dollars may soon be used to outfit homes, hotel/motel rooms, gyms, and country clubs across the country with the Shower Nazi.
Isn’t green great?
The Waxman-Markey bill abolishes neighborhood restrictions on solar panels. This provision was part of the “manager’s amendment” that was added to the bill at 3am the morning of the vote.
The bill directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development to issue rules prohibiting private covenants that restrict or prohibit the installation of solar energy systems.
So if your neighborhood has existing rules that prohibit residents from turning their manicured front yards into solar farms, Waxman-Markey abolishes them.
That such “restrictive covenants” are typically a matter of private contract apparently matters little in the coming green world.
Michael Barone points out that the Waxman-Markey triumph in the House boils down to blue states (Northeast and West Coast) voting against red states (everywhere else) — to make one giant green state.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman seems ready to form a lynch mob for opponents of Waxman-Markey.
Krugman wrote today that,
And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.
… To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.
The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course…
Blah… blah…. blah… as Patrick Henry told the Virginia House of Burgesses on May 30, 1765:
“Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First his Cromwell; and George the Third may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it!”
The American Revolution was started by British policies more justified and less oppressive than Waxman-Markey.