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Old 06-14-2011, 11:46 AM   #101
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And by what authority, precisely, does the government get to mandate items like the energy efficiency of light bulbs? Or motor vehicles (CAFE standards)? Are consumers somehow being defrauded--it's too hard for the average Joe to look at the lumens and the watts and do the math? They can't figure out what "MPG" means?

If we think people are so stupid, is it really right to let them vote?
The mooching has gone on long enough. Thank you for paying (more) of your fair share.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:24 PM   #102
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Why should anyone be required to pay MORE than their fair share?
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:33 PM   #103
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Why should anyone be required to pay MORE than their fair share?
Regardless of tilt (liberal vs. conserative), it's a way to get to have somebody pay for your own "opinion" ...

Fox vs. MSNBC - both for themselves, and not the "people" (OK, I'm a Libertarian, and I don't have a network - yet ).
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:48 PM   #104
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Yep, the law sets an efficiency minimum. If ya don't like it, invent a better incandescent.

This is another way of making the inefficient pay for their usage. More energy means more electric plants which means more taxes; more energy means more pollution. Since no man is an island, and we all live in communities, it seems completely fair for people to pay for their use.
I'm not followin' ya' here. I do pay for my usage - I get an electric bill. I pay it.

I understand that increased usage means increased costs for new facilities and more pollution (or maybe less, if we replace some old coal plants with larger nukes). So charge for the extra power. My provider raises rates above a certain monthly KWHr point in summer, to try to help reduce A/C demand. That's fine by me, it reflects their costs.

I got a graph from my electric provider - my home is in about the lowest quartile of electric usage for my neighborhood. And that is about half of the average for the neighborhood! Something tells me that we could do a whole lot more conservation by looking at those high users (Pareto Principle), than we can by forcing me to put CFLs in areas where I don't won't them.

One easy step, raise the rates significantly for KWhrs somewhere above the median. People can buy CFLs or do any of a hundred different things to save if they want (or subsidize my bill if they so choose).

The idea of micro-managing overall energy conservation at the residential light bulb level is just absurd.

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Old 06-14-2011, 12:48 PM   #105
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This is another way of making the inefficient pay for their usage. More energy means more electric plants which means more taxes; more energy means more pollution. Since no man is an island, and we all live in communities, it seems completely fair for people to pay for their use.
I disagree on so many levels.
- "More taxes?" How's that? So what?
- More pollution, etc: As soon as someone figures out how to put these externalized costs into the price of energy, then do it.
- Paying for their use: People are paying for their use. Banning certain types of bulbs doesn't make the inefficient pay more. If you want to do that, then TAX the inefficient bulbs--still dumb. Tax the energy if you've got some reason to believe we'll all benefit. I don't believe that at all.

But all this (whether it is "good for us" and how to accomplish it) misses the point I asked about: "Under what authority is the federal government banning inefficient light bulbs?"
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:51 PM   #106
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Why should anyone be required to pay MORE than their fair share?
If the fair share is $10, and someone is currently paying $5, they're paying less than their fair share. If they then start to pay $7, they're paying more OF their fair share, not more THAN their fair share.

Sorry for the misplaced paren. It wasn't clear.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:59 PM   #107
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I disagree on so many levels.
- "More taxes?" How's that? So what?
Oh, sorry, my utility is city owned.

If another power plant goes on-line because of extra load, that adds more to the bills of EVERYONE, even if Joe Green only use 5kwh/month. The initial cost of a power plant is huge and is reflected in the bill.

As far as "So what?" to higher taxes, I don't know how to reply to that.

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- More pollution, etc: As soon as someone figures out how to put these externalized costs into the price of energy, then do it.
In the meantime....

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- Paying for their use: People are paying for their use. Banning certain types of bulbs doesn't make the inefficient pay more. If you want to do that, then TAX the inefficient bulbs--still dumb.
People pay for their electric use only. We don't currently pay for pollution. This (increasing efficiency standards for light bulbs) is an alternative to paying a surcharge for pollution on electricity. It may not be the best path, true, but we both know that adding a surcharge won't fly. See "cap and trade" for more reasons why a surcharge won't work.

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Tax the energy if you've got some reason to believe we'll all benefit. I don't believe that at all.
Then you'd better get the law repealed. If you want to contact your Congresslings, it was the Energy Independence and Security Act (2007). President Bush signed it into law.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:05 PM   #108
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One easy step, raise the rates significantly for KWhrs somewhere above the median. People can buy CFLs or do any of a hundred different things to save if they want (or subsidize my bill if they so choose).

The idea of micro-managing overall energy conservation at the residential light bulb level is just absurd.

-ERD50
So we could micro-manage kwh charges for every utility provider or micro-manage energy efficiency for a light bulb? I prefer the former, too, but it won't happen. Congress, like the rest of the world, took the easier path.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:11 PM   #109
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I don't buy your argument that 'another plant goes on line.... my taxes go up'. If GM opens another plant to meet demand it does not automatically increase price because they built a new plant. If prices go up it is supply and demand. Maybe it is because Your utility is GOVERNMENT owned and are more efficient that the private sector. That has to be it.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:24 PM   #110
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+1
In a free society the function of government should be to educate not legislate! Let me make the decision. If I want to dump motor oil on my property, it is my property! If it runs onto your property, sue me! There are lawyers waiting in line.
Boo Yeah! BTW, the hog farm I control through a set of shell companies will be building a 100 yard by 100 yard eight foot deep waste water pond just uphill from your place. Once the pond is full the unit will declare bankruptcy, default on taxes, and hand the keys over to the county.

(I've seen the above drill done for a pulp mill and a feed lot, too.)
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:30 PM   #111
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I don't buy your argument that 'another plant goes on line.... my taxes go up'. If GM opens another plant to meet demand it does not automatically increase price because they built a new plant. If prices go up it is supply and demand. Maybe it is because Your utility is GOVERNMENT owned and are more efficient that the private sector. That has to be it.
If there's a power plant that can meet the power for 1000 people, and 100 more people move in and start drawing power, the utility has to build another plant. Now they can't just build a "10% more" plant for another 10% of costs (borne by the 10% growth in users). They have to build a huge honkin' plant for far more than 10% of their current base cost (anticipating more growth as well, of course). This cost is reflected somewhere -- it's not eaten by the utility or passed on only to the 100 new people. It's spread out over the rates of ALL of the users.

There are fixed costs, regardless of demand.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:30 PM   #112
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If there's a power plant that can meet the power for 1000 people, and 100 more people move in and start drawing power, the utility has to build another plant. Now they can't just build a "10% more" plant for another 10% of costs (borne by the 10% growth in users). They have to build a huge honkin' plant for far more than 10% of their current base cost (anticipating more growth as well, of course). This cost is reflected somewhere -- it's not eaten by the utility or passed on only to the 100 new people. It's spread out over the rates of ALL of the users.

There are fixed costs, regardless of demand.
In reality, plants are tied together by the grid. So maybe 10 plants (probably more) serve an area. So they absolutely can (and do) respond to a 10% overall increase in demand by adding 10% more capacity by adding one more full size plant. So the costs are pretty even for new and old users alike.

And while they are 'in between' that next 10% step, they use their peaker plants - which cost more to run per KWHr, but cost less to install. So rates may actually go down for everyone when they bump up to that next base line level.

I just read that residential lighting is ~ 12% of a residential bill, and residential is 38% of total electricity consumed in the US. So we are talking about a 4.6% total target here. Considering that many people will put CFLs in the most used spots anyhow, there isn't that much more to gain.

And a true environmentalist should be against this bill anyhow. Forcing me to buy a CFL for a light I rarely use means that more energy was used to produce the thing than it will ever save. If no man is an island, we ought to be concerned about all the energy used, which includes production and shipping and recycling. Educate me, and I will use the CFLs where they make sense (I have dozens in use now). Legislate 'one size fits all', and there will be negative consequences.


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So we could micro-manage kwh charges for every utility provider or micro-manage energy efficiency for a light bulb? I prefer the former, too, but it won't happen. Congress, like the rest of the world, took the easier path.
Before we can talk about micro-managing or not, tell me - just what is it that they are trying to 'manage'?

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:32 PM   #113
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But all this (whether it is "good for us" and how to accomplish it) misses the point I asked about: "Under what authority is the federal government banning inefficient light bulbs?"

That would be the Commerce Clause

Commerce Clause - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


One of the things that some state can do as noted by someone else is pass a law in a state that allows sales in that state only, manufactured in that state....

Texas' electricity is not regulated by the Feds because we have our own system... not connected to anybody outside the state.... they can not sue the commerce clause to regulate it...
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:55 PM   #114
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Decided to take a look in Wiki....


"Under the law, incandescent bulbs that produce 3102600 lumens of light are effectively phased out between 2012 and 2014. Bulbs outside this range (roughly, light bulbs currently less than 40 watts or more than 150 watts) are exempt from the ban. Also exempt are several classes of speciality lights, including appliance lamps, "rough service" bulbs, 3-way, colored lamps, and plant lights.[23]
By 2020, a second tier of restrictions would become effective, which requires all general-purpose bulbs to produce at least 45 lumens per watt (similar to current CFLs). Exemptions from the Act include reflector flood, 3-way, candelabra, colored, and other specialty bulbs."


Now... I see that I can buy 3-ways and over 150 watts.... so, I can either use the one element of a 3-way or use 150s and dim them (if my setup allows)...
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:59 PM   #115
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In reality, plants are tied together by the grid. So maybe 10 plants (probably more) serve an area. So they absolutely can (and do) respond to a 10% overall increase in demand by adding 10% more capacity by adding one more full size plant. So the costs are pretty even for new and old users alike.
The cost of buying off the grid is passed on to the consumer. Someone, somewhere, is going to pay for that additional plant/units and the borrowing costs associated with it. It doesn't simply disappear.

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And while they are 'in between' that next 10% step, they use their peaker plants - which cost more to run per KWHr, but cost less to install. So rates may actually go down for everyone when they bump up to that next base line level.
Peaker plants are for peak power -- the hot afternoon or the cold morning. They aren't meant for supplying baseline power. It's VERY expensive to run a peaker plant -- about .15/kwh, twice the cost of coal. No utility runs their peaker plants as base load units for long.


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Legislate 'one size fits all', and there will be negative consequences.
The positive externalities outweigh the negatives.

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Before we can talk about micro-managing or not, tell me - just what is it that they are trying to 'manage'?

-ERD50
Energy independence and energy security, per the bill's name.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:54 PM   #116
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The cost of buying off the grid is passed on to the consumer. Someone, somewhere, is going to pay for that additional plant/units and the borrowing costs associated with it. It doesn't simply disappear.
No one said the costs 'disappears'. Of course we pay for energy from the grid. But your '100% increase in supply to cover a 10% increase in demand' is not a realistic scenario. There are enough plants servicing an area that a full size plant would not be a 100% increase in capacity. Geez, in your case, they'd have to shut off the city to take that one plant down for maintenance. You are creating absurd scenarios, and apparently you need to to defend this stupid bill.


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The positive externalities outweigh the negatives.
And those are? (perhaps your next line was your answer?)?


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Energy independence and energy security, per the bill's name.
Let's see... we get the vast majority of our electricity from coal, hydro, nukes and natural gas. So how's that work?

I'm waiting for the bill named "Free Deep-Dish Pizza and Craft Beer for All US Citizens to Eliminate the Deficit by 2013", that would have to be a winner

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Old 06-14-2011, 04:03 PM   #117
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No one said the costs 'disappears'. Of course we pay for energy from the grid. But your '100% increase in supply to cover a 10% increase in demand' is not a realistic scenario. There are enough plants servicing an area that a full size plant would not be a 100% increase in capacity. Geez, in your case, they'd have to shut off the city to take that one plant down for maintenance. You are creating absurd scenarios, and apparently you need to to defend this stupid bill.
No utility gets its long-term base load power from the grid. That's an unknown and absurd scenario. If you were a utility CEO, you'd be run out of town...unless you passed on the increased costs to the consumers, in which case the rates would increase for ALL of the users instead of only the new 100 users. You're ignoring reality in order to defend your anti-environmental and "all change is bad" ideological position.

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Let's see... we get the vast majority of our electricity from coal, hydro, nukes and natural gas. So how's that work?
Because oil does provide some electricity. We reduce oil use, we reduce oil imports. See? It's pretty simple.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:15 PM   #118
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No utility gets its long-term base load power from the grid. That's an unknown and absurd scenario.
It was an absurd situation, so the answer becomes absurd also

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You're ignoring reality in order to defend your anti-environmental and "all change is bad" ideological position.
On the contrary - I consider myself a real environmentalist, as I want to see real change - not 'feel good change'. I embrace positive change - but it has to make real sense. I'm ready to change any energy related thing in my house, as soon as it makes sense to do so. Did you not read that I have dozens of CFLs now? But I don't want the govt telling me to put one in my attic or closet. Doesn't make sense.

Now, let's take a serious look at some hypothetical situation where a group needed to cut electrical consumption by 10% to avoid the cost of a new infrastructure. If I were CEO, I sure wouldn't start using the group's money to subsidize CFLs, or ban incandescents. I'd stake a look at the big picture - see where the major users are, and if they can conserve. If that's not enough, do like I said earlier and use a progressive rate system. At some point, you will get a 10% cutback, and only the heavy users (who were probably not conserving) will cut back. Best thing is, it's flexible - just keep adjusting the price until supply and demand meet - what a concept! And you don't have to 'punish' the people who were conserving in the first place.


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Because oil does provide some electricity. We reduce oil use, we reduce oil imports. See? It's pretty simple.
And meaningless.

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:26 PM   #119
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Well, over in Europe they're still selling incandescents, but they're calling them a heat source rather than a light source. That will work for me. Dozens of tiny ceiling mounted inefficient heat sources, coincidentally providing light.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:29 PM   #120
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I'd stake a look at the big picture - see where the major users are, and if they can conserve.
Now all we need is a bureaucracy devoted to pursuing this. We'll call the leader the "Conservation Czar."


Edit: removed snarkiness
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