American Elephants

Congress Wants To Mandate Your Efficiency. Bad Idea! by The Elephant's Child

There is a mindset that seems to be derived from the propaganda about all things “green.” We humans have not properly cared for the earth. We use far too much of the earth’s bounty. Our lifestyle and profligate overuse of natural resources is killing the earth and depriving the world’s poor of their fair share of the bounty. Climate change is destroying the earth and it’s our fault. We need to use less of everything. Turn off the lights, drive less, buy an electric car to save energy, save water. There are just too many people, have more abortions, fewer kids. Endangered species.

Even if you recognize that all to be sheer hogwash, there’s a mindset that remains. They have been very vocal about their fraudulent claims. It brings out the nannies. They want to make better choices for you consumers, because they’re smarter than you are.

Congress has been determined to legislate efficiency mandates for American homes and businesses since the late 1970s. The most recent legislation is being reintroduced tomorrow with a House companion bill coming on Friday. The bill from Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), has supposedly been modified from previous renditions to make it more acceptable.

There are some basic requirements:

  1. The free market rewards efficiency without any intervention from the government.
    Congress should focus on removing the policy and regulatory barriers that diminish the market incentives to pursue efficiency upgrades.
  2. Consumers and Businesses have other preferences.
    Federal mandates assume that everyone has the same needs and make purchases for the same reasons. Not true. The “Energy Star” designations are notably faulty. the DOE latest rule for dishwashers  show that almost 20% of households will see no improvement at all, yet costs have skyrocketed.
  3. When a technology offers more efficiency and lower costs, Americans do not need to be compelled to invest. Congress’s guess about what consumers want may not match reality. Front-loading washers and dryers have been far too costly and unpopular.
  4. Mandates risk taxpayer resources to subsidize private sector efficiency. The mandates distort, and usually raise, the prices involved. and distort the marketplace to consumer’s grief.

You might let your representatives and senators know that this is not acceptable. and Congress has no business mandating efficiency. They have already made a mess with twisty lightbulbs, low-flow showerheads, low-flush toilets, none of which have improved anyone’s lives.


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