While disagreements remain about the right approach to fixing our nation’s energy problems, there are also areas of broad agreement that Congress can act on immediately. Nowhere is that better embodied than in a bill that’s sitting before the Senate, awaiting action: The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, S.1000, written by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.
The Shaheen-Portman Act would help make the United States a global leader on the fastest and cheapest method we have for addressing our energy needs, energy efficiency. It encourages more private investment in efficient buildings and manufacturing technologies through low-cost, high-reward programs like strengthening voluntary national model building codes and expanding loan programs to include efficiency upgrades. It gives manufacturers tools for increasing energy efficiency in their supply chain. And it puts the federal government, the single largest user of energy in the country, on track to save taxpayer dollars by using less energy.
There is actually a much faster way to save energy, Senator Shaheen… (and a way we could be much more efficient.)
We could shrink the single largest uses or energy in the country. With a few swipes of the Executive pen we could eliminate 30+ Czars and their staffs, and all the energy they use, returning that money back to taxpayers. But don’t stop there. President Obama and the Democrat majority–including you, Senator Shaheen–grew most every department of the ‘Biggest energy user in the country’ by close to 30% back in 2009, right after you passed the stimulus bill which already included 11 billion dollars for weatherization and modernization of private homes and…government buildings.
That 11 billion wasn’t enough? Well of course not. That 11 billion did not produce any meaningful long term impact on either energy use, efficiency, or job creation, which is probably why you want to dump more tax dollars into the same barren trough. But I know something that would actually work, and save taxpayers even more money in the process.
As part of your genuine effort to reduce energy consumption by the government–you could eliminate mountains of red tape and the tax dollars required to support it–making it easier and less expensive for private industry and investors to develop oil, gas, and coal (or even wind and solar) with their own money instead of you giving someone else ours. Those untapped billions would remain in the productive parts of the economy to create real jobs, that produce real things, that we really need, while reducing dependency on foreign suppliers and the burdensome cost of an unproductive government class.
If you are still itching to “do something” to justify your existence in D.C. instead of giving the biggest energy user in the nation more reasons to use energy, you could offer private energy producers additional incentives at the local level by letting them keep more of their own money if they spend some of it to assist in local education and support for weatherization of homes and business in their service areas. I realize that this will keep the money local, and build good will between providers and consumers without the leviathan government coming between them, but wouldn’t it be more efficient to optimize the value of the investments by eliminating as many extra hands (and bureaucratic hurdles) as possible between the money and the project?
You see the lessen Senator Shaheen? Any effort at any kind of real efficiency begins by keeping the Federal government out of the loop. So before you start telling other people how you can show them how to be more efficient, maybe you should clean up your own house first. Then the taxpayers who get to keep the money you will no longer need to confiscate from them can decide how best to make their own lives more efficient without the pointless interference of your useless legislation.
S1000 is a waste of energy. May it die an efficient death.
You are reading "Where I Give Lessons on Efficiency to Senator Jeanne Shaheen." by Steve Mac Donald originally posted at GraniteGrok.com (Home)