This Bill has already failed, but it illustrates how the priorities of the republicans stray from the priorities of the country. It also serves as a commentary on the technical competence of knee-jerk legislation.
[Congressional Bills 112th Congress][From the U.S. Government Printing Office][H.R. 2417 Introduced in House (IH)]112th CONGRESS1st SessionH. R. 2417To repeal certain amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Actwith respect to lighting energy efficiency, and for other purposes._______________________________________________________________________IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESJuly 6, 2011Mr. Barton of Texas (for himself, Mr. Akin, Mr. McClintock, Mr. Flores,Mr. Hultgren, Mr. Turner, Mr. Wolf, Mrs. Lummis, Mrs. Capito, Mr.Scalise, Mr. McKinley, Mr. Burgess, Mrs. Blackburn, Mr. Goodlatte, Mr.Poe of Texas, and Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas) introduced thefollowing bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy andCommerce_______________________________________________________________________A BILLTo repeal certain amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Actwith respect to lighting energy efficiency, and for other purposes.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of theUnited States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.This Act may be cited as the “Better Use of Light Bulbs Act”.SEC. 2. LIGHTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY.(a) In General.–Sections 321 and 322 of the Energy Independenceand Security Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-140) are repealed.(b) Application.–The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C.6201 et seq.) shall be applied and administered as if sections 321 and322 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (and theamendments made by those sections) had not been enacted.SEC. 3. MERCURY-CONTAINING LIGHTING.No Federal, State, or local requirement or standard regardingenergy efficient lighting shall be effective to the extent that therequirement or standard can be satisfied only by installing or usinglamps containing mercury.SEC. 4. STATE REGULATION.No State or local regulation, or revision thereof, concerning theenergy efficiency or energy use of medium screw base general serviceincandescent lamps shall be effective.SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.In this Act, the terms “general service incandescent lamp”,“lamp”, and “medium screw base” have the meanings given those termspursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6201 etseq.), as applied and administered pursuant to section 2.<all>
- With the development of full-spectrum LED lights, this section is rendered useless. LED lights can meet any requirement of standard that florescent lights could. The exception would be for ballast requirements that have nothing to do with bulb choice.
- Supposed protection from mercury in the bulbs (less than a thermometer’s worth) would be more than offset by the extra coal ash generated. Coal ash contains mercury, some of which goes into the air. Light bulbs containing mercury must be recycled, they cannot be put in the trash. The whole mercury-in-landfill argument is false.
- It explicitly prohibits state or local government from setting a higher standard. Setting a minimum national standard is one thing, preventing the states from improving on it is another thing entirely.
“There’s a massive misperception that incandescents are going away quickly,” said Chris Calwell, a researcher with Ecos Consulting who studies the bulb market. “There have been more incandescent innovations in the last three years than in the last two decades.”
“Due to the 2007 federal energy bill that phases out inefficient incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012, we are finally seeing a race” to develop more efficient ones, said Noah Horowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
By Mr. BARTON of Texas:H.R. 2417.Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant to the following:This bill is enacted pursuant to the power granted to Congress under Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution.
[The Congress shall have Power] “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”
[The Congress shall have Power] “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
- Rep. Rush Holt: Shining Light on the BULB Act (huffingtonpost.com)
- BULB act sheds light on the politics of the new Republican Party (thehill.com)
- Why Fighting Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs Is So Stupid (ecocentric.blogs.time.com)
- dirty electricity and unhealthy CFL light bulbs (ees2001.wordpress.com)
The campaign to promote corn ethanol drove up the price of corn, which benefited the corn farmers. It also encouraged new businesses and job creation, as well as diluting our dependence on oil for transportation.
But at a price…
As demand for corn skyrocketed, the price also rose. Because the price went up, more fields were planted with corn. More corn fields meant less fields devoted to other grains, which led to low supply and high prices for other grains. That raised the price of foods derived from grains and food animals fed on grains.
In short, it drove up the price of food. Worldwide.
What would I do?
1) Cap corn ethanol at 10% mixture.
2) Keep subsidies for small “blenders”, but greatly reduce or eliminate subsidies for the rest. (research would be required to determine a proper threshold.) Betraying the small startups would hurt the government’s ability to lead the economy into the future instead of letting it decline in the past.
3) Bring oil speculation back into regulated markets, where they belong. I would tax windfall profits of oil speculators by at least 50% – their pursuit of profits severely hurts the economy.
3a) If (3) is not feasible, then bypass the market entirely by having the federal government buy directly from the producer on contract and sell at a slight profit to the domestic market. This is probably the best option for the country (and the world).
And the Koch brothers? They are the evil behind the high price of oil speculation. They’ll survive:
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
John Shimkus, GOP Rep. Who Denies Climate Change On Religious Grounds, Could Lead House Environmental Policy
Considering how often they talk about personal responsibility, republicans usually find a way to rationalize evading responsibility for their own actions.
This is one of the most mind-numbingly irresponsible assertions I have ever heard. After all the “personal responsibility” lectures, now they give us the “hell no to responsibility, God won’t let us fail” line? No wonder they are so cool to the START treaty.
Given the dangers of hydraulic fracturing and the growing demand for natural gas, and a public programmed to believe we have easy access to huge reserves if only the government would “get out of the way”, the republicans are poised to give license the the oil industry to literally destroy this country from the ground water up.
Republicans keep coming up with new ways to hurt this country beyond the wildest dreams of our worst enemies, and still make the ideas popular with the masses.
The more religious zealots strengthen their grip on their spiritual world and loosen their grip on the physical world, the more they fit the definition of insane.
How is John Shimkus any different from a suicide bomber, when it comes to personal responsibility and concern for consequences?
This is a prime example of why religion and government are incompatible.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
We have become a nation divided by ideology. Community vs individualism. Pride and honor vs avarice and power. Perseverance vs instant gratification. Federalism vs Confederacy. Republic vs Corporatocracy.
Capitalism has not only reached across the border, it has straddled it. The economic model of a national economy is fundamentally broken. American workers and American corporations do not function in the same economy. That has to be fixed before we can prosper again.
Capitalism is not a form of government, no matter how many people try to make it one. It is a culture of competing and conflicting self-interests, not leadership. Under the domination of conservatism, we surrendered the initiative to others. The future went from 10 years (Space Race) to 3 months as we became fixated on quarterly profits. Economic myopia.
We need to develop new industries and oil independence, but conservatives resist. For 10 years, we tried the conservative approach in it’s extreme. Environmental law, anti-trust law, regulation, and budgetary restraint were all sacrificed in the name of conservative-style economic growth. And what did we get for it? Private sector job growth in decline for 10 years. Bush43 created only 3m net jobs, the worst performance on record. Wages stagnated, fraud flourished, the economy weakened and inevitably fell into recession.
We have a private sector that cannot get out of it’s own way. Banks rushing to foreclose on properties they cannot prove they have a legal right to foreclose on, using bogus documentation, driving down the value of the property they are ceasing – trampling due process and individual rights in the process.
If we are to recover from this recession, if we are to create meaningful numbers of new jobs, we need new industries and modern infrastructure. We need to recognize the limitations of capitalism, and adapt accordingly.
- “Johnston: Scary New Wage Data” and related posts (taxprof.typepad.com)
- Mitchell Bard: A Short and Clear Guide to What a Midterm Vote Really Means (huffingtonpost.com)
- Millionaires on Unemployment? There Must Be a Better Way (dailyfinance.com)
- Why growth still feels like recession | Dean Baker (guardian.co.uk)
- Obama’s New Villain (thedailybeast.com)
- Ben Nelson’s misplaced priorities (washingtonmonthly.com)
It seems like for conservatives, regulatory failure is not only an option, it is a goal.
If Big Oil manages to poison the ground water in New York with their hydraulic fracturing, I cannot imagine them buying up all the worthless property they would create – including NYC – which would have to be abandoned due to lack of usable fresh water. Poisoning the ground water of an area is a disaster that cannot be recovered from.
The latest problem surfaced in Pennsylvania.
Of course, we can count on the individual State to protect the rights and safety of it’s citizens from the depredations of moneyed interests:
- Lawsuit: Gas Drilling Fluid Ruined Pa. Water Wells (nytimes.com)
- Another well blow-out during hydraulic fracturing (switchboard.nrdc.org)
Growing up, I did not know that coal plants produced large amounts of waste other than the soot and smoke. It was not until recent years that I learned the waste had toxic elements in it.
I would far rather have the EPA “forced down my throat” than the poisons of corporate greed and irresponsibility.
The true cost of “cheap” coal has gone unnoticed and unappreciated. It is time we know the truth, and recognize the full costs.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
By all means, put the regulators as close as possible to the money. The miners will be dying to maximize the conflict of interest and corruption that local regulation would encourage.
The states should be regulating their mines themselves, but their ability and willingness to do so is questionable.
- EPA called on to regulate coal ash as hazardous waste (knoxnews.com)
- Kentucky Senate Watch: No, I Love Coal More! (motherjones.com)
- Time to crack down on toxic coal ash (1sky.org)
- Toxic Coal Ash Threatens At Least 137 Sites In 34 States (desmogblog.com)
- Waste Spills at Another T.V.A. Power Plant (NY Times)
- Tennessee Ash Flood Larger Than Initial Estimate (NY Times)
- Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste (Scientific American)
- Waste Coal – Waste Dirtier than Coal (Energy Justice Network)
- coal power: wastes generated (Union of Concerned Scientists)