Thursday, June 26, 2008

Patrick M's Bipartisan Energy Bill

I have laid out the solutions to the energy problems we face before (here and here ). But as the two parties become entrenched in their idiotic myopic partisan strongholds, the need for a clear bipartisan, non-partisan solution is greater than ever. And I have been listening to both sides of the debate, collected various ideas, and have assembled them below.

Now before I begin, there are a few ground rules. All solutions have to either increase supply or reduce either demand or price. Nothing that will expand the power and/or income of the federal government is considered, as this has to be an effort to reduce dependence, both on oil and on government intervention. Also, some of the solutions are short-term, as they could be rendered meaningless with other legislation (tax credits, for example, under the FairTax).

However, I will be so bold to say that any presidential candidate who adopted this (and gave me a cushy job, to boot) would be elected without question. And so....

Patrick M's Bipartisan Nonpartisan Energy Independence and Price Reduction Bill
(Because politicians should never be allowed to control anything)

Article 1. All federal taxes on fuel are immediately repealed, with a corresponding cut in spending, preferably in subsidized energy programs (ethanol, for example). This will immediately knock a quarter or so off the price of gas.

Article 2. Any moratorium on drilling or other means of extraction (oil shale, coal gassification) is immediately lifted. Any company seeking to drill anywhere may do so, with reasonable environmental protections and footprint restrictions instituted by the states. We must immediately become more independent of other countries who are our enemies. This will increase our national security, as well as begin to control the price of gas, and will buy time for us to develop new technologies that will eventually end our need on oil.

Article 3. Restrictions on energy infrastructure must be cut. This includes crippling red tape that stops the production of oil refineries, nuclear plants, and wind farms. The abilities of state and local governments must be limited to allow these facilities to be built.

Article 4. The federal government, in all purchases that use energy, especially fossil fuels, will seek to immediately acquire the most efficient and low-impact vehicles. This includes hybrid, electric, and (where practical) hydrogen technology vehicles. This will not necessitate new spending, only a policy of purchasing and acquisition that favors less consumption.

Article 5. Companies and individuals will be allocated tax credits up to their total tax liability to invest in new forms of energy for their own consumption. This includes clean technologies (solar, wind) as well as any renewable forms of energy (biofuels). Restrictions on the implementation of these technologies, including restrictive building codes, will be curtailed.

Article 6. No subsidies will be granted for the development of alternative fuels. But the government will be compelled to adopt any new technology that is financially feasible, and will do so within existing budgetary constraints.

Now I know this isn't every bit of minutia that would go into an actual bill. But let's be honest. No one, except wonks who are aroused by mindless tedium would read the shit. Thus, I leave it to some crackheaded legalese-vomiting pinhead to flesh it out.

As for individuals, conservation is a personal choice, and should not be legislated under any circumstances. I certainly believe in the logic of doing so, and will conduct myself accordingly.

These are all steps, combined, that must be taken. The Democrats are right when they say we can't drill our way out of this. The Republicans are right in saying we can't conserve our way out of this. We need to do it all if we are to remain the great country that we are.

Now, any questions or additions?


Dee said...

Sounds great to me. Now if we could just get the Democrats to agree to it ;-)).

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Any politician who touts the conservation of energy is no politician I plan on voting for ever!

Virtually every aspect of our life centers on energy (your alarm clock waking you up, your coffee maker, the refrigerator that keeps your juice and milk cold, the automobile that gets you to work, etc.)

We used less energy in past when we traveled by horse and buggy and when it took months to make a cross country trip. The idea that we would go backwards by "conserving" energy is a ridiculous notion.

Any "conservation" should not fall under the false guise of "saving the planet" or "being green". No, instead conservation is done through a free market system. For example, I don't much care for having a huge energy bill to contend with. As such, I tend to hold off as long as possible before turning on my heat in winter and my A/C in summer. That to me is conservation.

If you want to advocate conservation, tout its benefit as a measure of cost.

What's more, touting new energies is a great move. However, we shouldn't subsidize them and we shouldn't offer some crazy cash incentive to bring them to market.

Tax breaks I'm fine with (in fact I encourage them). But, let us remember that a tax break is nothing more than permitting an individual or a corporation to keep more of the money that is rightfully theirs to begin with.

Patrick M said...

Dee: That's why it involves conservation measures as well as drilling. To not agree is to pick a partisan line

Soap: If you notice, I don't include any measures forcing conservation onto individuals and businesses. I only require that the government lead by example. This means that when they do their purchasing of things like vehicles, they are compelled to seek out the most fuel-efficient options. This means there is a market for low-mileage vehicles.

Instead, the only measures the government is allowed is to promote renewable sources through tax credits, thus taking money away from government.

Like I said, this is not the sum total of things, only steps the government can do. And if some of the ideas I put forward happen to also fit the envirodouche agenda, it's because these will separate the ones who honestly want to help the environment from the ones who want to destroy America as we know it.

Compromise is sometimes ok, but only if you get what you want.

Patrick M said...

Actually, I just came up with bullet points for this plan:

1. decrease government regulation and power
2. increase incentives for energy alternatives through tax cuts
3. require the government to lead by example, rather than by legislation

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"1. decrease government regulation and power
2. increase incentives for energy alternatives through tax cuts
3. require the government to lead by example, rather than by legislation"

You are right. And yet, you are humble.


Patrick M said...

You have no idea how humble I am, being as magnicifently great and powerful as I truly am. No need to shudder at the thoughts of my frantrabulous awesomeness.

I am humble after all.

Beth said...

The problem I have with the hybrids is that their higher upfront cost to purchase them does not always save money in the long run, and so I hate to have my government spend more overall. They should just buy really small vehicles that get the best gas mileage, even if its made by a foreign company.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Since you've got your whole energy piece over at your blog, I thought I'd alert you to this:

That's a link to one of our devoted talk radio guys (Jason Lewis). He fills in for Rush from time to time so you may have heard him. Anyways, at that link are a number of audio clips from Jimmy Carter. Now, when you take in to consideration everything that Obama has said with respect to energy up to this point and then go and listen to these audio clips of Jimmy Carter.....

Man...will you get a vision of what things will look like. As Jason said, the more things "change" the more they stay the same.

Mike's America said...

I just read a great piece by Mark Steyn:

He discusses the law where Congress makes it illegal to ""to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product ."

Of course Congress has exempted itself from that law as they are the biggest obstacle to new sources of energy.

There is no sound environmental or economic reason NOT to pursue all the energy resources we have right here in the U.S. The reason Democrats block these efforts is because they are beholden to extremists whose ultimate goal is to constrain the growth of the U.S. economy until we are no longer a superpower economically or militarily.

At that point, the Chinese will dictate to us surrender terms and we will have no choice but to accept.

Beth said...

I heard part of an interview yesterday with a man who wrote a book debunking global warming, he says the main reason for the alarmist notion about it is companies investing in wind and solar energy who are looking to make a profit. And while hey I am all for companies trying to make a profit, I don't like it happening through any governmental intervention (that includes tax incentives) but mostly its lobbyists.

I say let the market decide it wants cheaper energy, the producer giving the consumer what they want, and the producer getting to enjoy the profits it deserves. Free market capitalism, it really works!

Patrick M said...

Beth: That's why I suggest the government, in purchasing vehicles they're already going to get, start buying them. The more that come off the line, the cheaper they'll become. Everybody wins.

Drop the Soap: I think Jason was on last week subbing.

And I knew there was a reason Obama's term would be Carter's second....

Mike: Actually, Congress should be forced to drive around in rebuilt Yugos....

Beth (Redux): The reason fro tax incentives is to get the ball rolling. And those would be eliminated when the tax code is in favor of the FairTax. Until then, anything to cut taxes is ok with me. I've never met a tax cut I didn't like. The important part is no subsidies.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Beth, I disagree with you on the tax incentives part. Redistributing taxes is one thing (eg. windfall profit tax on oil to be diverted to solar, wind, etc.)

However, if the government provides a tax break to any individual or company, that is a good thing. That is their money to begin with and the less of it that goes to government the better. When it stays with the individual or the company, it can then be used towards their own costs (be it R&D or what have you).