Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

07/09/2009 (11:56 am)

Waxman-Markey: Read It and Weep

Depressed by what I already know, I don’t think I have the energy, and I’m sure I don’t have the time, to completely analyze the entire Waxman-Markey bill, known as Cap-and-Trade. However, motivated by questions I had about a couple of blog posts I read yesterday reciting building code requirements in the bill, I read enough of it to comment.

This is absolutely the end of limited federalism, for one thing. The bill establishes national standards for energy efficiency for buildings, cars, light bulbs and all sorts of lighting fixtures, washing machines… you name it, it controls it. It makes its limits a part of every building code in America, and it enforces itself by threatening to withhold substantial federal funding from states who refuse to implement it — and upon such refusal, asserts itself as the law of those states. After this, there is no aspect of life that the national government has not asserted absolute right to control. Granted, there have been national standards before — and they, also, stomped on limited federalism — but none of them asserted control at this level. Kiss the 10th Amendment the US Constitution goodbye.

For another thing, this bill literally defines 2005 as the peak of American economic growth. From now on, growth will be negative. Why? Because the total amount of carbon to be emitted by the entire US economy is limited to a percentage of the gas emitted in 2005. This literally puts a cap on growth. If the bill says that the amount of carbon from all measured sources cannot exceed 97% of total carbon emitted in 2005 (which it does), then the amount of economic growth possible is hard-tethered to the amount of reduction produced by technological improvements; if technology has produced only 3% improvement by then, the economy is not permitted to grow at all. If technology has produced a 4% improvement by then, the economy may grow only 1%. If technology has produced only 2% improvement by then, the economy must shrink at least 1%. And naturally, the cap tightens even more as time goes on: 83% by 2020, 58% by 2030, and the practically impossible 17% by 2050.

Remember Plumb Bob’s Rule of Electrical Generating Reality: the alternatives are nowhere near ready to replace any substantial portion of our nation’s electrical generating capacity, and will not be for many decades. Attempts to force progress up the curve will only result in further declines in GDP, as the huge dollar subsidies and immense rise in electricity costs will rob growth from other economic sectors. Guys, if it takes one woman 9 months to make a baby, that does not mean 9 women can do it in a month. Some things just take as long as they take, and technological change is one of them.

epaco2liebermanThe good news is that with the unbelievable burden this bill will place on the entire economy, we will have to do nothing remarkable to reach those goals; the resulting economic depression will certainly achieve them for us even without technological improvements.

And this is all being done to produce exactly zero improvement in the environment, even if you believe the disingenuous horse manure about human-generated carbon affecting climate (it does a little, perhaps enough to boost plant growth by around 10% worldwide; aside from that, peer-reviewed science documents no known harm from human-generated CO²). Last year, while preparing for the Warner-Lieberman bill, the EPA produced a chart showing how little global CO² would change with the US acting unilaterally, and how dependent genuine reduction in global CO² was on cooperation from China, India, and other producing nations. These nations are smarter than we are; they are not going to hobble their own economies for carbon reduction.

Let’s take a lesson from our Honduran brothers, and recognize this bill for what it is; the American experiment in self-government ends if we adopt this bill. And it’s only the beginning of the new restrictions our Supreme Leader Obama intends to lay on our backs. Time to grow huevos and protect our republic.

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3 Comments »

July 10, 2009 @ 4:33 pm #

Phil–

IMHO, this bill is the burning issue of the moment, which is saying a lot considering the other agendas the government is intent on cramming down our throats.

I read Section 204 – BUILDING ENERGY PERFORMANCE LABELING PROGRAM – today, and was shocked. As a former building contractor in California who was familiar with how their Title 24 Energy Standards worked, this Bill is going to take California energy standards nationwide, and not in the good way (See: BubbaJ in Jeff Dunham’s video).

One of the reasons I left California was because I couldn’t make an honest living there. I couldn’t in good conscious charge a customer $20,000 for a $5,000 job, but with the permits and environmental studies and all, that’s what I would have had to charge to comply with all the California building regulations. And now that system is going to be forced on the entire nation?

This has to be stopped and stopped hard.

July 12, 2009 @ 5:22 am #

Another clause in the Bill invalidates any Covenants and Restrictions attached to any deed which prevent the installation of solar panels on your roof.

While that may or may not be a worthy goal, it certainly represents a a federal attack on private property and private contracts.

July 12, 2009 @ 7:24 pm #

It has been said that the Cap ‘n Tax bill requires that the entire United States adopt California Energy Standards. This may be true, depending upon how the regulators interpret Section 204:

(3)…Administrator shall consider existing programs, including–

(A) the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager program and the California HERS II Program Custom Approach for the achieved performance component of the label;

(B) the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index system for the designed performance component of the label…

Just one small section of the HOME ENERGY RATING SYSTEMS (HERS) FIELD VERIFICATION AND
DIAGNOSTIC TESTING REGULATIONS
dealing with insulation requires:

# Installation meets all applicable requirements as specified in the Insulation Installation Procedures (CF-6R only)
# Insulation certificate, (IC-1) signed by the installer stating: insulation manufacturer’s name, material identification, installed R-values, and for loose-fill insulation: minimum weight per square foot and minimum inches
# Installation Certificate, (CF-6R) signed by the installer certifying that the installation meets all applicable requirements as specified in the Insulation Installation Procedures (CF-4R only)
1. FLOOR
# All floor joist cavity insulation installed to uniformly fit the cavity side-to-side and end-to-end
# Insulation in contact with the subfloor or rim joists insulated
# Insulation properly supported to avoid gaps, voids, and compression
2. WALLS
# Wall stud cavities caulked or foamed to provide an air tight envelope
# Wall stud cavity insulation uniformly fills the cavity side-to-side, top-to-bottom, and front-to-back
# No gaps
# No voids over 3/4″ deep or more than 10% of the batt surface area.
# Hard to access wall stud cavities such as; corner channels, wall intersections, and behind tub/shower enclosures insulated to proper R-Value
# Small spaces filled
# Rim-joists insulated
# Loose fill wall insulation meets or exceeds manufacturer’s minimum weight-per-square-foot requirement. (CF-6R
only)
3. ROOF/CEILING PREPARATION
# All draft stops in place to form a continuous ceiling and wall air barrier
# All drops covered with hard covers
# All draft stops and hard covers caulked or foamed to provide an air tight envelope
# All recessed light fixtures IC and air tight (AT) rated and sealed with a gasket or caulk between the housing and the
ceiling
# Floor cavities on multiple-story buildings have air tight draft stops to all adjoining attics
# Eave vents prepared for blown insulation – maintain net free-ventilation area
2005 Residential HERS Regulations Page RH-9
Appendix RH – High Quality Insulation Installation Procedures
# Kneewalls insulated or prepared for blown insulation
# Area under equipment platforms and cat-walks insulated or accessible for blown insulation
# Attic rulers installed
4. ROOF/CEILING BATTS
# No gaps
# No voids over ¾ in. deep or more than 10% of the batt surface area.
# Insulation in contact with the air-barrier
# Recessed light fixtures covered
# Net free-ventilation area maintained at eave vents
5. ROOF/CEILING LOOSE-FILL
# Insulation uniformly covers the entire ceiling (or roof) area from the outside of all exterior walls.
# Baffles installed at eaves vents or soffit vents – maintain net free-ventilation area of eave vent
# Attic access insulated
# Recessed light fixtures covered
# Insulation at proper depth – insulation rulers visible and indicating proper depth and R-value
# Loose-fill insulation meets or exceeds manufacturer’s minimum weight and thickness requirements for the target R-value. Target R-value __________________ Manufacturer’s minimum required weight for the target R-value
___________________ (pounds-per-square-foot). Manufacturer’s minimum required thickness at time of installation _______________ Manufacturer’s minimum required settled thickness _______________ Note: In order to receive compliance credit the HERS rater shall verify that the manufacturer’s minimum weight and thickness has been achieved for the target R-value. (CF-6R only)
# Loose-fill mineral fiber insulation meets or exceeds manufacturer’s minimum weight and thickness requirement for
the target R-value. Target R-value ______________________ Manufacturer’s minimum required weight for the target R-value _______________________ (pounds-per-square foot). Sample weight ______________________ (pounds per square foot). (CF-4R only)
# Manufacturer’s minimum required thickness at time of installation _______________ (inches) Manufacturer’s
minimum required settled thickness _______________ (inches). Number of days since loose-fill insulation was installed _______________ (days). At the time of installation, the insulation shall be greater than or equal to the manufacturer’s minimum initial insulation thickness. If the HERS rater does not verify the insulation at the time of installation, and if the loose-fill insulation has been in place less than seven days the thickness shall be greater than the manufacturer’s minimum required thickness at the time of installation less 1/2 inch to account for settling. If the insulation has been in place for seven days or longer the insulation thickness shall be greater than or equal to the manufacturer’s minimum required settled thickness. Minimum thickness measured ______________ (inches). (CF-4R only)

DECLARATION
I hereby certify that the installation meets all applicable requirements as specified in the Insulation Installation Procedures.

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