American Elephants


The Obama Administration’s Regulatory Nightmare by The Elephant's Child

It’s hard to keep up with the regulatory proposals coming from government agencies. The Foundry, a Heritage Foundation blog, is trying to keep track of the more noxious ones. Today, they are pointing out the excesses of the U.S. Department of Energy.

They already regulate the design of air conditioners, battery chargers, boilers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, freezers, furnaces, heat pumps, light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets and washers. We now have washing machines that are several times more expensive and literally do not clean your clothes. Dishwashers no longer clean your dishes, and after the Volt fires in Connecticut, the regulations for battery chargers may need a second look.

The addition for today concerns a return to the shower.  The Energy {Policy Conservation Act of 1992 prescribed a measly 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at 80 pounds per square inch of water pressure.  This was quite a dramatic reduction in showering pleasure from the 5 gpm or even 10 gpm of previous showerheads. The Department stated that: “It has always been the Department’s view that when Congress used the term ‘any shower head’ it actually meant ‘any shower head’.”

Now they want to make it clear that the regulation applies to the total from multiple shower heads in any one shower. The department recently fined 4 showerhead makers $165,104 for failing to demonstrate compliance with the shower head mandate.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 prohibits even minute levels of lead in any product intended for children 12 years of age or younger. That includes millions of children’s books printed with leaded ink.  Lead in ink was phased out in the late 1970s, but the CPSC deems any children’s book printed prior to 1986 to be potentially toxic and thus unfit for library circulation , the Goodwill store, or your neighbor’s garage sale.

The EPA is now hard at work increasing fleet-wide fuel efficiency standards for cars, and at the same time expanding the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%, (an amount damaging to the engines of all but the newest cars) which will dramatically decrease fuel efficiency.  Corn-based ethanol has been shown to nearly double greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.  The spike in food prices from more ethanol will increase government spending by $1 billion a year, according to studies.

Obama policies are destroying jobs as fast as new jobs are created. Regulations accomplish nothing but unnecessary interference in peoples lives, and often simply make things worse.  There are always consequences, often unintended ones, and they seldom improve anything.

About these ads

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The EPA is now hard at work … expanding the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15% (an amount damaging to the engines of all but the newest cars) which will dramatically decrease fuel efficiency.

Please try to be more precise in what you write. What the EPA has been pressured to do (it wasn’t their idea), by the ethanol industry and the White House, is to approve the sale of gasoline containing 15% (E15). That is not quite the same as “expanding the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%”. Engine manufacturers are naturally worried about liability for damage if these higher “E” blends are put into engines that were never built for them, and I don’t blame them. It will be their asses in the sling if things go wrong, through no fault of their own.

But this move is a matter of increasing the availability of E15, not necessarily the volume actually sold, though that is clearly the intent of the ethanol lobby and the Administration (especially its leading ethanol-head, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack).

As for fuel efficiency, it will decrease only when measured per gallon of fuel (which means people have to tank up more often), but not in terms of miles per million Btus.

Comment by Subsidy Eye

I have seen no indication that the EPA is in the slightest, reluctant, in pushing E15 on the market. Consumers are certainly not demanding it. Car makers want nothing to do with it, filling up more frequently when the price of gas is rising is not a minor detail. A gallon of ethanol contains significantly less energy than a gallon of gasoline, and is worse for the environment. Are you suggesting that Vilsak is leading Obama to do something he doesn’t want to do? The EPA does not answer to ethanol makers, they answer to the president who wants more ethanol. And please show me a sentient human who measures their fuel efficiency by miles per million Btus.

My point in the post, which you seem to have missed, is that the EPA is forcing car manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency on the one hand, while also pushing another policy that will decrease fuel efficiency. An action that is, unfortunately common in most of the administration’s policies.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

Are you suggesting that Vilsak is leading Obama to do something he doesn’t want to do?

Not at all. Like his predecessor, George W. Bush, the POTUS is a leading cheerleader of ethanol. But it is Vilsak who is the heavy.

The EPA does not answer to ethanol makers, they answer to the president who wants more ethanol.

And to Congress. In 2009, the EPA came out with preliminary results of its estimates of the life-cycle greenhouse-gas emissions of different biofuels (as they were mandated to do by Congress). Their results showed that U.S.-made corn ethanol did not make the grade — i.e., show at least a 20% improvement compared with gasoline. Senators, especially from the Midwest, screamed bloody murder, and threatened to cut the EPA’s budget to the bone. The EPA listened, made all kinds of heroic assumptions and then 9 months late produced their final study, which showed that U.S. corn ethanol WOULD clear the hurdle … by 1% (i.e., a 21% improvement overall).

And please show me a sentient human who measures their fuel efficiency by miles per million Btus.

Lots of sentient humans — notably the scientists who undertake “well to wheel” comparisons of the energy input-output ratios of fuels:

http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/339.pdf

My point in the post, which you seem to have missed, is that the EPA is forcing car manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency on the one hand, while also pushing another policy that will decrease fuel efficiency.

No, I didn’t miss the point you were trying to make, I just think it isn’t a good point. First, they are not pushing E15 per say: they have been instructed to see whether allowing it to be sold would damage car engines, and which car engines. And, (b) from a scientific perspective (not the average consumer, I admit), the fuel economy — i.e., the energy conversion efficiency: Btus of fuel to miles driven — of cars driving on E15 will not drop compared with E10 or Even E0.

Again, I detest the mandating and subsidization of ethanol as much as you do. But I am also interested in describing the policies, and who is behind them, accurately.

Comment by Subsidy Eye




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,770 other followers

%d bloggers like this: