“Job killers” is the justifiable defense du jour against eco-evangelicals who advocate for overreaching legislation and regulations that cost American consumers billions of dollars. After all, reducing consumers’ purchasing power is no way to stimulate the economy. Yet the prevailing eco-paradigm reflects an attitude of “if it only saved one ounce of carbon, wouldn’t it be worth it.”
At Colorado’s only free market energy blog (http://energy.i2i.org), we expose the high cost of consumer-unfriendly energy policy such as renewable energy standards, excessive regulations on power plants, and mandated fuel switching.
The green-at-any-cost crowd also advances regulations that are meant to micro-manage our lives, yet we have little time or space to cover them. Most are just topics of an occasional news story, blog post or anecdotal social media thread, but collectively these regulations are as insidious as the much larger “job killers.” They are a reflection of a government that is far too big, far too invasive.
Predictably, these regulations also have unintended consequences such as job loss, civil disobedience, hoarding and possible criminal behavior. Three immediately come to mind:
In 2007, Congress passed legislation essentially banning incandescent light bulbs to reduce energy usage and our collective carbon footprint. Within a few short months, a shelf in the utility room in my basement was filled with incandescent light bulbs of all shapes and wattage. Like some of New York City’s top lighting designers, I never want to be without Thomas Edison’s great invention. My dislike for CFLs stems from more than just their unpleasant light or the HAZMAT suit that must be donned in case of breakage or their ugly curly q shape, I just have a visceral reaction to government dictating what kind of light bulb can hang over my bed. Also, they are more expensive.
So every trip to the grocery store, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes or anywhere else incandescents still are sold, means more boxes in my basement. Pre-planning insures that my house will never be without the reliable soothing light of an incandescent bulb, and when the black market for them develops, my family will be well positioned. The thrill of civil disobedience is an added benefit.
Unfortunately, my hoarding still wasn’t enough to keep open the last incandescent light bulb factory in the United States, which closed about this time last year. Gone are nearly 200 $30-an-hour jobs. Eco-evangelicals swore that the newly mandated CFL market would “create” lots of new green manufacturing jobs. Those jobs did materialize but not in the U.S.
Cascade without Phosphates
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