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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Most Profitable Farce

From our good friend Chris Nelder. He crunches the numbers and worries late at night... so you don't have to! - maltok 5

Chris Nelder2007-06-15
By Chris Nelder

I hope you’re watching the debate right now over the sprawling S.1419/H.R.6,12 ball of energy legislation in Congress, because if you aren’t, you’re missing some real comedy.

You can almost figure out which state a Congressman is from just by reading what he or she is saying.

Bashing wind power? Clearly from a coal state. Probably Illinois or West Virginia.

Bashing coal? Clearly from a solar state. Probably California or Nevada.

And so on. Those bills are already encumbered by some 20 amendments, and the debate only started Tuesday. It’s real-life comedy in earnest.

We’ll get to the “profit” part in a minute. But first we need “broad satire and improbable situations” to make it a true farce.

We don’t have to look too hard for that.

Take the battle over CAFE standards. They haven’t been updated since 1983, leaving America still grinding away with 210 million inefficient guzzlers. We set standards of 27.5 mpg for cars and 24 mpg for light trucks, and wound up with a fleet that gets about 20.4 mpg on average, while European cars are getting an average 40+ mpg and Japanese cars 45 mpg. [more]

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