Bad Legislation

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.

  • hunter

    That the Congress is federalizing landscaping is so bizarre as to be hilarious, if it were simply a bad joke.
    Since it is true, it is rather disgusting.
    The AGW promotion industry has already long since stopped needing data- the science is settled, right?
    But the Congress that could not oversee the only thing that really mattered- FNMA and FMAC- is now going to make sure that your property is correctly landscaped.
    I have, until now thought tea parties were a bit odd.
    Now, maybe they are necessary.

  • Daneil Buck

    Even ten years ago, if I had suggested that the majority party’s proposed bill would be withheld from the minority party two hours from the vote — and then one copy was grudgingly provided, to be shared by all 435 Representatives , you would have looked at me like I was a crazy person…….

    Well that’s exactly what happened a week ago Friday when Congress voted on and passed the infamous HR 2454 Cap and Trade/Carbon Emissions Bill. Final vote: 219 Yea, 212 Nay. A little after 3 am on that very same day a 300 page amendment was added to the original 900+ pages. This is the longest suicide note in history and will further hasten our downward economic spiral. The Senate looks to debate it this Fall where it will likely get nowhere. Friday’s vote may have been a gift to the POTUS for the upcoming UN meeting knowing there’s little chance of it getting thru the Senate. Before Friday’s vote I made my feelings known to our Democratic Congressman. I see he voted No but I’ve no idea what his real motivation was. Some that voted Yes received calls 20:1 urging a No vote and they still voted Yes.

    This is about more than just higher electricity rates. It’s a massive redistribution of wealth, further limits our freedoms all under the guise of reducing an essential trace greenhouse gas, and does next to nil for energy independence. This Manmade Global Warming/Climate Change House Of Cards is tumbling down. Every week more and more new contrary evidence is seeing the light of day. The Mainstream Media won’t report it, but this vital information is getting out to those that want honest debate on this important issue.

    Looking past the Senate this Fall we have the December Copenhagen UN meeting on a new Global Warming Treaty. Remember the Kyoto Treaty? Well you ain’t seen nothing yet. I shudder to think what the U.S. delegation would love to commit us to for years or decades forward. Lastly there’s the EPA waiting in the wings to regulate all things CO2. Recently leaked internal EPA e-mails detailed suppression of evidence that undermines the CO2 argument.

    Remember Friday’s vote, because if this horror show is implemented on the American public it will blow up in our face as it has in every country this has been tried. At what cost in dollars and individual freedoms? Mark your calendar in RED, because that is the path we are heading toward. Contact your Senators and ask them if they’re prepared to defend a Yes vote for this misguided Bill. Let them know a NO Vote will ensure your support next election cycle.

  • papertiger

    There should be a subheading under section 205 sub section little (a) number 1 like so:

    (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;

    (1)-(a) the largest single customer of the utility sector is local, state, and federal government;

  • morganovich

    some of these are truly astounding. i find number 8 to be particularly so:

    Waxman-Markey strips the EPA of its oversight role when it comes to managing the offsets associated with American farms. At the behest of Cargill and other big players in the farm lobby, oversight will be entrusted to the USDA — basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the agriculture cartel, one of America’s most rapacious special-interest groups, which already is stuffed with subsidies and sops.

    talk about giving the monkeys they keys to the banana plantation… essentially, the whole carbon offset business will become a huge subsidy to farmers, a group already coddled and advantaged beyond belief. certainly explains how this became popular in the farm belt…

  • Overandout

    Have just finished reading probably the best book I’ve seen on climate change, Air Con by Ian Wishart.

    He’s a journalist so his writing style is much easier to follow than some of the other recent books on climate, but for me the clincher is the book is broken into two parts – the first half demolishes the catastrophe claims of the alarmists, and the second looks at the real agenda, which few of the other climate books have gotten into.

    Amazon have it here: http://www.amazon.com/Air-Con-Seriously-Inconvenient-Warming/dp/0958240140/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

  • JP

    Dept of Federal Landscaping? What next, Department of Funny Walks?

  • Ted Rado

    This alternative energy thing would be reasonable if there were feasible alternatives. Other than nuclear power, there is now no feasible large scale potential source of energy. To mandate doing away with fossil fuels without having a workable alternative is insane.

    Those pushing Cap and Trade say that this is true, but the cap and trade will force people to find workable large scale energy schemes. What nonsense. How can one mandate doing something that does not exist?

    A workable energy alternative must be found first, and its use mandated second.
    We are doing just the opposite. What if we destroy our current energy system and suitable alternatives are not found. Goodbye civilization!

    Ted Rado
    Oklahoma City

  • Craigo

    This is all a bit confusing to me. Clearing land to grow crops for “green” biofuel and mandating tree planting to reverse the effects??? Brazil’s enthusiasm for ethanol has contributed to deforrestation and all the attendant destruction of biodiversity and yet we encourage these alternate fuels with additional subsidies…..

    Sounds like “Big Green” is having an each way bet and picking up the cash in both directions.

  • Rick

    Green cronyism, disgusting. Isn’t sad, but perhaps not surprising, that “the science” is being used as a rationalization for dictatorship and cartels? Bush Nationalism + Obama Socialism = ?

  • Sorry for the late note, but I just came across this post. You overlook the most absurd part of the bill in that in other parts of the bill it refers to trees as renewable biomass and you can get renewable energy credits for cutting them down and burning them.