Energy

Waxman-Markey: What Doesn't Kill You Will Only Make You Poorer

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Americans for Tax Reform foresee death and fiscal devastation via Waxman-Markey. Some of their numbers:

•    Even with a 15% decrease in gas consumption – prices will still go up! A family of four will still pay $596 more in 2035 and $7,500 more in total from 2012 to 2035.

•    There are currently 14 states that produce less than 1% of their energy from governmental defined renewable sources. The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandates that this number be 10% nationally by 2012, an unachievable number.

•    Under RPS the majority of American families will see at least a $150 increase (or roughly 10%) in their annual energy bill.  Families residing in southeastern states will see the largest increases.

•    The Corporate Average Fuel economy (CAFE) forces automakers to produce smaller and lighter cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimated that these lighter cars will increase American traffic fatalities by almost 40,000.

•    Waxman-Markey will drive up the national debt 26 percent by 2035. This represents an additional $29,150 per person, or $116,600 for a family of four.

Such cost estimates about future legislation are always provisional and never to be believed completely, but see Ron Bailey at Reason Online on how cap-and-trade proponents at least need to stop pretending it will be costless.

NEXT: Is Barbara Boxer the Orville Faubus of the Climate Committee?

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  1. If anything approaching this piece of shit passes the senate I’ll be terribly surprised.

  2. His energy bill is $0.00

    I call bullshit.

  3. His energy bill is $0.00

    I’ve personally corresponded with this guy. He’s an interesting guy, but his energy bill is not $0.00. His monthly bill is $0.00, but the system cost was $500,000. One could say the “hookup fee” was a cool half a mil. If we calculate say, a 30 year projection, his energy bill is $1,388 per month.

  4. No dude, it’s true. It made the local news,I remember seeing it. But don’t forget, he put up 1/4 mil plus 1/4 mil from state grants. How does that divide up over a lifetime? But add in the hydrogen car, no gasoline bills.


    Video

  5. I call bullshit.

    J sub. I got into it with Neu Mejican on this very guy about two years ago. I got so interested in the whole concept, I actually contacted him. He uses some geothermal which explained a lot. He didn’t directly answer all of my specific questions (I’m not saying he was evasive) but he did send me spec sheets on how he built his system.

    The bottom line is, this guy is actually a good example for libertarians to point to as to why it’s so hard to get off the grid. It’s going to take a massive expenditure of capital per household to do it, and/or massive subsidies.

  6. How does that divide up over a lifetime?

    Read my 30 year projection above.

  7. Inside the Solar-Hydrogen House: No More Power Bills–Ever

    Although the device cost $500,000 to construct, and it is unlikely it will ever pay off financially (even with today’s skyrocketing oil and gas prices), the civil engineer says it is priceless in terms of what it does buy: freedom from ever paying another heating or electric bill, not to mention keeping a lid on pollution, because water is its only by-product.

    Story here.

    What’s interesting is the way the news covers this topic. An alternate headline could just as easily (and just as truthfully) read: For 1/2 a Mil, You Too Could Have no Electric Bill

    I also like the disconnect. Yippee! No monthly bill! Well, yeah, there is a monthly bill. You’re just paying it to someone else. Probably a loan company… I’m feeling 2nd, maybe third mortgage.

    Amazing how many people will drop $30,000 on a new car because it gets ten more miles per gallon than their other fully paid vehicle.

  8. a 30 year projection, his energy bill is $1,388 per month.

    VCRs were $800 when they first came out. Plasmas were $20,000. You have to start somewhere. The article stated some Big Wigs were looking to power their private islands. Refinements to the system, and eventual mass production would bring costs down. It’s certainly not currently a viable solution, but down the road, who knows.

  9. What’s interesting is the way the news covers this topic. An alternate headline could just as easily (and just as truthfully) read: For 1/2 a Mil, You Too Could Have no Electric Bill

    Where’s the sensationalism in that?

  10. When Obama “gives” us all the green technology and the money to install it, we won’t have a monthly bill either!

  11. “Refinements to the system, and eventual mass production would bring costs down. It’s certainly not currently a viable solution, but down the road, who knows.”

    I said this on a different thread yesterday. If we had followed Carter’s advice for the last 30 years, we would be there now.

  12. Maybe I can get a grant for the whole 1/2 mil, I’d like to be off the grid, too. Oh, who got stuck for the 1/4 mil mentioned. ?

  13. VCRs were $800 when they first came out. Plasmas were $20,000. You have to start somewhere.

    All agreed. 100%. However, the devil is in the details. The time between the first VCR hitting the market at $1,000 and the price dropping to $100 was very short. Same with DVD players. Big screens, BluRay etc.

    We’ve been working on this alternative energy thing for quite some time now– by some calculations, more than thirty years. The developments in photovoltaic have been slooooowwww.

    Don’t get me wrong, getting off the grid is a very libertarian thing. If I could get off the grid for a few thou, I’d be off yesterday. But it must make economic sense to me. His house is an experiment. A show piece to say ‘This is what can be done’. He is not a representative example of what should be done.

    Also note, he works for a company that installs solar panels. So it’s largely an engineering experiment… an R&D lab for his company. And bravo to that. But I think it’s going to be a long time before we see anything transformative hit the market. And we may never see anything transformative. It may just be a long series of incremental changes that could take two centuries.

    Where’s the sensationalism in that?

    For a second, I was going to answer this question. Then my sarcasm detector came on. It’s solar powered, so I have to sit under an electric lamp for ten minutes before it’ll work. But It’s off the grid, man.

  14. Oh, who got stuck for the 1/4 mil mentioned. ?

    The residents of New Jersey. But New Jersey is now broke, so I think there’s some stimulus money coming. So ultimately, you and I did, too.

  15. Tricky Prickears,

    You can’t get around the law of thermodynamics.

  16. I said this on a different thread yesterday. If we had followed Carter’s advice for the last 30 years, we would be there now.

    Carter started The NREL

  17. Henry Waxman is one of the ugliest people I’ve ever seen. I suppose it’s fitting that his name is on an equally ugly piece of legislation.

    Waxman should be fired as a Congressman and should be re-hired as a troll used to scare children and people with a sense of aesthetics.

    Frank: Charlie, who’s playing the troll guy?

    Charlie: You’re gonna play the troll guy.

    Frank: I’m the troll guy?

    Charlie: Who else would be the troll?

    Frank: Oh! I like that.

    Charlie: All right, good.

    Frank: Can I do it naked?

    Charlie: Absolutely not. Why would you wanna be naked?

    Frank: Because in the ’70s, everybody did theater naked. Everybody got laid all the time.

  18. How is getting off the grid libertarian exactly?

  19. You can’t get around the law of thermodynamics.

    Seward, gotta borrow you for another forum I’m on. There’s a guy in there who thinks you can run a car entirely off regenerative braking.

  20. How is getting off the grid libertarian exactly?

    *eyebrows raised*

    Wow, to think that I could generate my own power without being manipulated by government-run monopolies, to not be harangued with energy conservation policies and schemes, to have my energy costs subsidizing god-knows-what crackpot scheme some idiot politician came up with in the dark of night after doing four lines of coke? I mean, come on. And isn’t there a sect of libertarianism that wants to go build its own island somewhere and float around… off the grid?

  21. I said this on a different thread yesterday. If we had followed Carter’s advice for the last 30 years, we would be there now.

    Carter started The NREL

    So, like I said. We’ve been at this for a little while now.

  22. There’s also another possible way to get off the grid. Jatropha curcas If you own some land in the desert. All you need is a diesel generator and a press.

  23. I didn’t rtfa. Did the fellow that got off the grid have to lower his consumption and change his lifestyle? That’s the other half of Carter’s energy policies. That’s the one we all have such a tough time with.

  24. So, like I said. We’ve been at this for a little while now.

    There’s a wealth of technology out there. There’s just not much practical application. Cost effectiveness of fossil fuels is very difficult to compete with. But as supplies begin to dwindle (and eventually they will)(compounded by speculators), alternatives begin to catch up. The question is: Do we start to phase them in gradually, now, or wait and get stuck with our heads up our asses?

  25. Seward is right – libertarianism is not implicated or furthered by on-the-grid or off-the-grid: it’s a personal choice.

  26. Did the fellow that got off the grid have to lower his consumption and change his lifestyle?

    Not really. Watch the video, you lazy fuck 🙂

    His house is Energy Star R38, but he has a hot tub, big screen etc.

  27. I note that his byproduct is oxygen. Not to be a douche, but are the long-term effects of placing that much oxygen into the atmosphere on a civilization-wide scale? And what about the use of water…is there a sufficient supply for nationwide implementation?

  28. Did the fellow that got off the grid have to lower his consumption and change his lifestyle?

    Yes. He’s $500,000 poorer than he would have been.

  29. is there a sufficient supply for nationwide implementation?

    This is no way even close to nationwide implementation. I personally think it’s a great example of good old fashioned American Ingenuity.

    Artificially placing oxygen into the atmosphere can only be a good thing, considering all of the deforestation that’s happening in Mexico, Central and South America.

  30. Tricky – I thought trees needed CO2

    Jordan – he’s not necessarily 500,000 poorer; he’s 500K – electricity bills + car gasoline bills = how much poorer he is. However, assuming he wills the house to the kids, well, they are now that much wealthier.

  31. True. Although, I think it should be 500K – ( electricity bills + car gasoline bills) + maintenance/repair costs. I can’t imagine him coming anywhere close to breaking even.

  32. Tricky, this lazy fuck has now rtfa:}

    It noted that he is using about 10 kwh per day.
    I just looked at our electric bills. In the fall and spring, when we aren’t running the furnace or the AC, our consumption in a 1400 sq ft single story brick home is averaging 33 kwh/day. It makes me curious as to what appliances he is using.
    I am not calling bullshit. From my limited knowledge of other methods of getting off the grid, cutting consumption is a major factor. No 220v appliances etc.
    It is a very interesting system he has set up. I did note in the article that his cash outlay was 100k and the state gave 400k.

  33. They do, but you’re missing my point. Trees are responsible for producing oxygen. In fact they convert CO2 to O2. So, with more trees being cut down, the more CO2 and less O2. It’s fucking amazing. I saw before and after sat pics of Southern Mexico. Thousands and thousands of acres of forest being cut down for farming. I wish I could find the link.

    Oh, and NJ sits on a water table. More fresh, naturally sand filtered water then a small (land area) state of 8,000,000 could ever use.

  34. I think he said the solar panels are 10 kWh panels. They produce 10kW of power every hour. In the summer they produce 160% of what he needs. But I am sure conservation is part of it. It must be.

  35. Jordan – ah, I forgot about maintenance costs. Those have got to be a bitch for that kind of equipment.

    Anyway, assuming that all prices stay the same:

    Avg bill in NJ, for this guys house, probably equals (yearly) = 1800

    1800 * 30 (years) = 54K

    Gas: assume 12K miles per year, and given this guy’s predilications, a 40 mpg car. That’s 300 gal per year, or 750 per year (assuming current gas prices) = 22.5K (30 * 750) saved over 30 years.

    So, yeah, he’s probably not breaking even. But, if energy prices double, he’s not doing badly. 76.5*2 = 153K over 30 years.

  36. * predilections.

  37. In fact they convert CO2 to O2. So, with more trees being cut down, the more CO2 and less O2.

    70% of O2 is produced by algae.

  38. No, I’m wrong.

  39. Ave $0.15/kWhr

  40. I have to wonder about the furture of such systems. As they become more efficient and cost efective, they will result in a lot more folks off the grid. Large consumers of electricity such as paper mills and aluminum smelters won’t be able to escape the grid. Will the loss of private consumers result in electric utilities raising the rates to the manufacturers to make up for the losses? Will the decrease in production balance with lowered cost for coal and natural gas? Will they ask for bigger subsidies from the gubmint to stimulate their business?

    Sorry. Just wandering around in my head

  41. “future”

  42. 70% of O2 is produced by algae

    Really? Not trying to be a smart ass. I didn’t think it was that much. I know that the oceans absorb CO2, and scientists are worried that too much CO2 in the oceans will have an adverse effect on coral reefs, which could fuck the entire ocean food chain.

  43. Sorry. Just wandering around in my head

    I think we’ve reached an end. I got to run out and get a pack of smokes. Later

  44. I saw before and after sat pics of Southern Mexico. Thousands and thousands of acres of forest being cut down for farming.

    Considering that there’s estimated to be more forest in the US now than hundreds of years ago, for that very reason (which is often new growth, if that matters, kept planted for commercial use; and remember that smokey the bear campaigns invite forest fires), one must ask: what the fuck is the US government oppressing me for?

    Further, it recalls the European eugenics experiment in which they convinced African rulers to turn down US corn. Is anything of the sort happening with the corrupt Mexican government, or is it standard, millinea-old West Indian slash and burn? Because you’d approach the former with fewer laws, and you’d approach the latter with more technology.

  45. Waxman and Markey are the Smoot and Hawley of the second great depression. May they be reviled for generations.

    -jcr

  46. ? The Corporate Average Fuel economy (CAFE) forces automakers to produce smaller and lighter cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimated that these lighter cars will increase American traffic fatalities by almost 40,000.

    Given how global warming scare mongers feel about car drivers, I think they will list this as a feature, not a bug.

  47. Seward is right – libertarianism is not implicated or furthered by on-the-grid or off-the-grid: it’s a personal choice.

    I don’t think I suggested (or meant to) that libertarianism is “furthered” by going off the grid. I merely felt that most of the libertarians I know tend to like not being dependent on government monopolies for their staples. However, maybe I’m wrong. I posed an argument. What’s yours?

  48. “If we calculate say, a 30 year projection, his energy bill is $1,388 per month.”

    But in 2015 dollars, that’s the cost of the cheapest item on Taco Bell’s menu.

    “70% of O2 is produced by algae.”

    So ocean acidity is the more important consideration?

  49. More baseless and wild exaggerations of the cost of fighting climate change? Check.

    I PAY FIVE @#%$@#$@#$@#$@#$ EXTRA DOLLARS PER MONTH FOR 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM A MAJOR ELECTRIC COMPANY.

    FIVE GOD DAMN BLEEPING DOLLARS.

    Economic armageddon my ass.

    Some right wing think tank can make up all the numbers they want, but they cannot refute the reality of FIVE BLEEPING DOLLARS.

  50. Tricky Prickears | July 16, 2009, 8:33pm | #

    Cost effectiveness of fossil fuels is very difficult to compete with

    Of course, if the government were to quit providing them with a free garbage disposal service, this would no longer be the case.

    Why libertarians support such subsidies is beyond me.

  51. Chad, you’re not a tool…you’re a fucking toolbox.

  52. I PAY FIVE @#%$@#$@#$@#$@#$ EXTRA DOLLARS PER MONTH FOR 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM A MAJOR ELECTRIC COMPANY.

    FIVE GOD DAMN BLEEPING DOLLARS.

    No you don’t. Someone else pays the rest of the subsidy.

  53. No you don’t. Someone else pays the rest of the subsidy.

    You beat me to it, Paul. 😉

  54. “Chad, you’re not a tool…you’re a fucking toolbox.”

    If you give me a dollar I will let you put your toolbox in my mouth.

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  56. No you don’t. Someone else pays the rest of the subsidy.

    The subsidy is (the production tax credit) is 1.6c kwh I believe. That is another five dollars or so.

    Wow, TEN dollars would surely break my back, wouldn’t it?

    Of course, your coal consumption is subsidized much more. Indeed, if you can find a peer-reviewed estimate of the externalities of coal that put it at LESS than 4c/kwh as the mid-point of the estimate, I would be interested in seeing it.

  57. Paul, etc.,

    I wasn’t making a claim about being off the grid or on it. I was just asking a question, because it is something I’d never really thought about before.

  58. Seward:

    I think they were speaking to the self-sufficient aspects of being off the grid as being libertarian. Also, I can’t help but mention that it would be the lawS of thermodynamics. Forgive me; thermo turns me into an irritating twat.

    IIRC, they have been studying solar since Bell labs started in the the thirties with only marginal improvements in efficiency since the sixties. Plus, there’s the storage problems.

    The major group to blame in the energy sector of the last 30 years is the environmental zealot contingent which successfully marginalized nuclear in this country, eliminating the clearest balance of clean and cheap that we have to this day.

  59. “They do, but you’re missing my point. Trees are responsible for producing oxygen. In fact they convert CO2 to O2. So, with more trees being cut down, the more CO2 and less O2. It’s fucking amazing. I saw before and after sat pics of Southern Mexico. Thousands and thousands of acres of forest being cut down for farming.”

    Don’t all plants convert CO2 to O2. So wouldn’t the farm crops be producing O2, with the added benefit of feeding people.

  60. “A New Jersey civil engineer powers his home with solar panels and hydrogen tanks.”

    Being that hydrogen is highly explosive. I’ll stay on the grid.

  61. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimated that these lighter cars will increase American traffic fatalities by almost 40,000.

    Give this stat to the AARP and see how quickly the bill dies. Little old people love their huge cars.

  62. How is getting off the grid libertarian exactly?

    Its a self-reliance thing, which maps well to libertarianism generally.

    Although, since libertarianism is about both choice and self-responsibility, its not a 100% match.

    In noodling about the Rancho Dean, I am definitely looking into being as grid-independent as feasible.

  63. FermatsLastFlamewar,

    Yeah, laws, sorry. 🙂

  64. His energy bill is $0.00

    and all he had to do was steal $400k from his neighbors prick.

  65. Democrats: fucking over America every chance they get.

  66. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimated that these lighter cars will increase American traffic fatalities by almost 40,000.

    Errr…over what kind of time interval?

    Unless I’m remembering wrong there’s just over 30k traffic fatalities a year now.

  67. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimated that these lighter cars will increase American traffic fatalities by almost 40,000.

    Per day, judging by the way people drive around here.

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