For Repeal of RGGI - Granite Grok

For Repeal of RGGI

This morning NHPR had a program on RGGI.  Senator Peter Bragdon spoke for keeping RGGI and  Representative Jim Garrity spoke for repeal.  I tried to call and comment but didn’t get on the air.  They suggested that I send in my comments, so I sent the comments below.  Some of my comments are reactions to Peter Bradgon’s comments supporting RGGI.   


"I am for repeal of RGGI.

1.  We have plenty of energy in this country in the form of coal and gas, and even oil if the government would let us get it.  We do not need to import fuel from countries that want to kill us to generate the electricity we need.  My understanding is that gas can be relatively easily burned in oil fired energy plants, we have lots of natural gas.   

2.  It is hard to believe that wood pellets burn more cleanly than oil or certainly than gas.  While I understand the desire to buy locally, they should compete like other fuels. 

3.  If energy efficiency is beneficial to people, governments, businesses, etc., then why do the rest of us have to subsidize it for them?

3.  If energy efficiency is beneficial to people, governments, businesses, etc., then why do the rest of us have to subsidize it for them?  It seems enterprising energy audit firms could offer to do an audit and charge based on the savings they generate.  Such an arrangement is great for the audit company, great for the organization that takes advantage of the service and their customers.  Neither the businesses nor the potential customers need to be subsidized.

4.  I believe the savings claims from energy efficiency are BOGUS.

– Those of us who are a little older remember that the old appliances last decades.  The newer more energy efficient ones cost lots more to buy, more to repair, and they don’t last as long.  So, maybe they save $100 – 200 worth of electricity in their live time, but cost an extra $500 – 1000 in repairs and replacement … that is a BAD DEAL for consumers… and a bad deal for the environment.  

– CFLs.  CFLs contain mercury, a known poison, especially harmful to children.  CFLs will put mercury into tens of millions of homes most of which will never know how to treat breakage safely causing untold negative consequences to people, our environment, and our water supply.      

—  Go the the EPA website to check out the mercury warnings and handling.  Any household with children will break light bulbs periodically unless children have changed significantly over my lifetime. Read what the EPA says about cleaning up mercury.  You can’t use a vacuum or a broom.  If mercury is on a carpet you need to cut out the contaminated carpet (factor the cost of new wall to wall or room sized oriental carpet into your electricity savings).  Open the windows to air out the room.  Great!  In the middle of a NH winter … what does that do to your savings?  Or, if you call in experts to clean up the mess, that bill will certainly negate all the savings from all the CFLs in your house.
—  My experience is that CFLs burn out quickly in many applications.  Maybe they last 10 times longer if you leave them on all the time, but certainly not if they are switched on and off a lot.
—  And, franky, who likes the light from CFLs?  It is crappy.

– It seems to me nearly all these artificial government driven requirements "for the people’s benefit" have negative affects which advocates never predict.  Even after the fact these negative affects are rarely publicized, and are never factored into the savings equation.  For example, raising car mileage standards seems like a great thing, saving lots of money.  Yet, according to the US DOT, each increased mile of fuel efficiency comes at the cost of approximately 7500 extra highway deaths.  This is a real example of trading lives for oil.  Is your spouse’s, mother’s, father’s, child’s, friend’s life worth the few hundred dollar savings in gas every year?  I don’t think so!   

5.  Global warming.  Governments around the world have been subsidizing the investigation into global warming to the tune of billions of dollars every year for many years.  Yet, the global warming advocates can’t prove man-made global warming, the best they have done so far is to publish lies, and to try to prevent people who disagree from being heard. 

People who were alive in the 1970s know many of the global warming advocates were then hysterical over global cooling, just like 30 years earlier they were hysterical about global warming just like before that they were hysterical about global cooling and so on.  In order to manipulate people into funding their pet projects and supporters, these hired scientists come up with whatever their politician benefactors want.

Despite spending billions of dollars, there is no good evidence that man-made CO2 has anything to do with the weather or the climate.  The hockey stick graph has been dismissed as a fraud.  The e-mails from the UK scientists show a concerted effort to shut down contrary evidence and willingness to lie to support their global warming benefactors.  RGGI is just another way for politicians to control people and their money.

What does provide for a cleaner environment?  Wealth.  Wealthy people want to live in a cleaner environment and they can afford to live more cleanly.  Wealthy businesses can afford to do business more cleanly and they can afford to investigate and invest in better methods.  Let the market operate and our environment will be cleaner and we will be more prosperous.  Unnecessarily high energy prices, driven up by regulations such as RGGI, reduce our wealth and thus reduces our ability to live cleanly.    

Excessive regulations, and RGGI is only one example, contribute to making our businesses less competitive.  This means they can pay workers less, create fewer jobs, make less profit and thus pay less taxes, and waste money.  We have seen the affects of this over the last 50 years as one at a time businesses quietly determined they could not survive where they were.  Some businesses and jobs moved to other states.  Some moved to other countries, some just went out of business.                          
Cheap energy is one of the things that makes our country great.  It does this by helping to make our businesses successful.  And cheap energy raises the quality of life of the American people.  The free marketplace will appropriately allocate resources to benefit the American people.  The more government regulates energy, the more it raises the real total costs jeopardizing business competitiveness and impacting the quality of life of American citizens, primarily poor American citizens.    

Ethanol is one example of politicians sticking their noses into the energy industry.  Even Al Gore agrees it was a mistake, actually it is a continuing disaster as billions of taxpayer dollars annually subsidize the production of ethanol which drives up fuel and food prices, pollutes the environment, harms engines, and returns less energy than it takes to produce.  And, like RGGI, it will live forever unless politicians get the backbone to do the right thing and repeal it.

RGGI is just one more little nail in the coffin of American business and the quality of American’s lives.

Other states besides NH have recognized the RGGI was a mistake and are considering repealing it also.  NH should take the lead. 

The NH people want RGGI repealed.  The NH House did the right thing to repeal it, the Senate should follow suit.  The voters will be watching.

Don Ewing