I would like to say that Waxman-Markey (the recently passed house bill to make sure everyone has new clothes just like the Emperor’s) is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever, resulting from one of the worst legislative processes in memory. But I am not sure I can, with recent bills like TARP and the stimulus act to compete with. Nevertheless, it will be bad law if passed, a giant back door step towards creating a European-style corporate state. The folks over at NRO have read some of the bill (though probably not all) and have 50 low-lights. Read it all, it is impossible to excerpt — just one bad provision after another.
I found this bit from Bruce McQuain similar in spirit to the rest of the bill, but hugely ironic:
Consider the mundane topic of shade trees:
SEC. 205. TREE PLANTING PROGRAMS.
(a) Findings- The Congress finds that–
(1) the utility sector is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States today, producing approximately one-third of the country’s emissions;
(2) heating and cooling homes accounts for nearly 60 percent of residential electricity usage in the United States;
(3) shade trees planted in strategic locations can reduce residential cooling costs by as much as 30 percent;
(4) shade trees have significant clean-air benefits associated with them;
(5) every 100 healthy large trees removes about 300 pounds of air pollution (including particulate matter and ozone) and about 15 tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year;
(6) tree cover on private property and on newly-developed land has declined since the 1970s, even while emissions from transportation and industry have been rising; and
(7) in over a dozen test cities across the United States, increasing urban tree cover has generated between two and five dollars in savings for every dollar invested in such tree planting.
So now the federal government will issue guidelines and hire experts to ensure you plant shade trees properly:
(4) The term ‘tree-siting guidelines’ means a comprehensive list of science-based measurements outlining the species and minimum distance required between trees planted pursuant to this section, in addition to the minimum required distance to be maintained between such trees and–
(A) building foundations;
(B) air conditioning units;
(C) driveways and walkways;
(D) property fences;
(E) preexisting utility infrastructure;
(F) septic systems;
(G) swimming pools; and
(H) other infrastructure as deemed appropriate
Why is this ironic? Well, this is the same Federal government that cannot spare a dime (or more than 0.25 FTE) for bringing up its temperature measurement sites (whose output help drive this whole bill) to its own standards, allowing errors and biases in the measurements 2-3 times larger than the historic warming signal we are trying to measure. See more here.