Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Worthless Energy Bill

Lawmakers Near Agreement on Energy Bill

Why do we even bother having an energy policy? Even the article says:

With soaring gasoline and other energy prices...lawmakers acknowledged the bill includes little, if anything, to reduce gasoline or other energy costs in the short term.

The article goes on to mention what's in the bill:

The broad legislation includes measures to spur construction of new nuclear power plants, promote ways to reduce pollution from coal and provides a boon to farmers by requiring refiners to double the use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline to 7.5 billion gallons a year by 2012.

It also would:

• Provide subsidies and tax breaks for wind, geothermal and solar industries.

• Require new efficiency standards for commercial appliances from air conditioners to refrigerators.

- Extend daylight saving time by a month to save energy.

• Require utilities to meet federal reliability standards for the electric transmission grid, hoping to avoid future blackouts such as struck in the summer of 2003.

• Eases the way for more imports of liquefied natural gas by giving federal regulators final say over import terminals.

• Provides loan guarantees and other subsidies for clean energy technologies and new nuclear reactors. It would authorize a $1.8 billion program to promote clean coal technologies.

What a disaster. First of all, there are a lot of subsidies for big business (need I say more?). Second, some of the provisions, such as the efficiency standards for appliances, will make energy more expensive by imposing regulatory costs on businesses who will pass those expenses onto the consumer. Third, a number of these are non-solutions. Kip Esquire has a good post discussing how stupid the idea of extending daylight saving time is. With the exception of easing natural gas imports, this bill is atrocious.

Update: Here's more from the NCPA