It is not as bad as I thought.
...based on technology advances and strong new policy, it is now time for the U.S. to look beyond 2012 and to take the next step. We've shown that we can slow emissions growth. Today, I'm announcing a new national goal: to stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.And how did we slow emissions growth? High gasoline prices have reduced the consumption of gasoline for one. The market works!
To reach this goal, we will pursue an economy-wide strategy that builds on the solid foundation that we have in place. As part of this strategy, we worked with Congress to pass energy legislation that specifies a new fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, and requires fuel producers to supply at least 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022. This should provide an incentive for shifting to a new generation of fuels like cellulosic ethanol that will reduce concerns about food prices and the environment.
We also mandated new objectives for the coming decade to increase the efficiency of lighting and appliances. We're helping states achieve their goals for increasing renewable power and building code efficiency by sharing new technologies and providing tax incentives. We're working to implement a new international agreement that will accelerate cuts in potent HCFC emissions. Taken together, these landmark actions will prevent billions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
These objectives are backed by a combination of new market-based regulations, new government incentives, and new funding for technology research. We've provided billions of dollars for next generation nuclear energy technologies. Along with the private sector, we've invested billions more to research, develop and commercially deploy renewable fuels, hydrogen fuel cells, advanced batteries, and other technologies to enable a new generation of vehicles and more reliable renewable power systems.
Lots of mandates in there. Do you know what it is called when the government controls an industry through regulation? Socialism. National Socialism.
First the auto mandate. He wants to go from a fleet average of 27.5 mpg to 35 mpg. Good. Sort of. And what if industry doesn't meet the goals? They pay a penalty. No mater what Bush has mandated an increase in auto prices. Swell. Just swell. Another thing that he doesn't take into account is that when cars get higher mileage at a given fuel price level people drive more. Cute. We will get higher auto prices and more road congestion. Brilliant move. So the saving in actual fuel consumption will be less than the numbers indicate. Of course with more people on the roads congestion will get worse. Cars that are in heavy traffic use more fuel for a given distance traveled even if they are hybrids. Another hit.
And the renewable fuel mandate? Well cellulosic ethanol sounds peachy. Except it is a dream right now. The technology is not available. In addition if it is based on crops like switchgrass it will still raise food prices because it will be in competition with land for food production. Another hit on the economy.
Mandated increases in appliance efficiency? The cost of appliances is going up. We will get more of the washers that require two wash cycles to get clothes clean. Where is the efficiency in that? Not to mention the cost in time. So what will it mean in terms of change? People will hold on to their old appliances longer. Genius.
And the lighting mandates? A study was done where a small town changed all its lighting to CFLs. What happened? Energy consumption went up. Why? With lighting costs lower people were not as careful in turning lights off when they were not in use. The hits just keep on coming.
The only positive thing in this whole bit is the work on new technology. That is the only thing that can fix the mess we are in. All the rest amounts to a huge tax increase on the economy. Oh well. At least he has put off the mandates for a while. By then we may be well into a New Little Ice Age and the Congress may be induced to repeal at least some of this non-sense.
We can only hope.
Cross Posted at Classical Values