Theodore's World: If You Don't Hate the Cap and Trade Bill, Let Me Show You Section 304

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July 09, 2009

If You Don't Hate the Cap and Trade Bill, Let Me Show You Section 304

Rep. Waxman: "I don't know the details. I rely on the scientists."

If You Don't Hate the Cap and Trade Bill, Let Me Show You Section 304

Amercian Issues Project

I bet you thought that if you bought a house, you actually own it and can, with reasonable exceptions, do with it what you want. You probably think that if you want to live in a log cabin, with wood stoves that belch smoke into the air for heat, and an old washer and dryer that don't have those little EnergyStar stickers on them you can because it's your life and your property. You paid for it with money you earned with the sweat of your brow and what the heck is America anyhow if a body can't live in the home they want furnished with the appliances they want?

Ah, silly you. You didn't reckon on the Democratic Party's desire to control every miniscule aspect of your life.

Let me introduce you to a little section of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill called the "Building Energy Performance Labeling Program". It's section 304 of the bill and it says, basically, that your house belongs to the state. See, the Federal Government really wants a country full of energy-efficient homes, so much so that the bill mandates that new homes be 30 percent more energy efficient than the current building code on the very day the law is signed. That efficiency goes up to 50 percent by 2014 and only goes higher from there, all the way to 2030. That, by the way, is not merely a target but a requirement of the law. New homes must reach those efficiency targets no matter what.

But what does that have to do with current homeowners like you? Well, I'm glad you asked. You're certainly not off the hook, no way, no how. Here's what the Democrats have planned for you. The program requires that states label their buildings so that we can all know how efficient every building (that includes residential and non-residential buildings) is and it requires that the information be made public. To that end, the bill suggests a number of circumstances under which the states could inspect a building, including:

(A) preparation, and public disclosure of the label through filing with tax and title records at the time of

(i) a building audit conducted with support from Federal or State funds;
(ii) a building energy-efficiency retrofit conducted in response to such an audit;
(iii) a final inspection of major renovations or additions made to a building in accordance with a building permit issued by a local government entity;
(iv) a sale that is recorded for title and tax purposes consistent with paragraph (8);
(v) a new lien recorded on the property for more than a set percentage of the assessed value of the property, if that lien reflects public financial assistance for energy-related improvements to that building; or
(vi) a change in ownership or operation of the building for purposes of utility billing; or

(B) other appropriate means.

Pay close attention to (iii), (iv), and (vi) because those hit you right where you live. What that's saying is the state will be empowered to inspect your home if you want to 1) renovate your house in any way that requires a building permit, 2) sell your house, or 3) change the name of the person responsible for any utility bill.

By now, if you haven't swallowed your tongue and are in need of medical attention, you're probably wondering if there's a penalty for not being in compliance with the new efficiency ratings. The answer is no, and yes. Here's where the bill gets really sneaky. So far as I can tell, there is no direct penalty if your house does not meet the bill's target. However, it does require that the number of buildings inspected by the state meet certain percentage targets and if they do not, the state loses out on a significant portion of the money it could get from Washington. In other words, the bill demands certain things from the states, but ties funding for those demands to compliance with the demands.

Did I say the bill gets sneaky? I was wrong. The bill strong-arms the states like a couple mob heavies leaning on a witness in a Rico trial. In turn, the states are going to put the screws to you, so it gets the billions of dollars Washington is dangling in front of them. So while the Federal government won't directly punish you, it will provide the states with lots and lots of rectangular, green reasons to do so.

And it gets worse. The Federal government has graciously offered to help homeowners with the retrofits the states will force them to do through a program called the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Purposes (REEP). REEP sets aside a pool of money in each state for property owners who have to turn their polar bear-killing buildings into lean, mean, green machines. But, and I'm sure you've guessed this already, there's a catch. Before I get to that, here's the magic formula (and don't read ahead and spoil the surprise!):

(i) AWARDS- For residential buildings--

(I) support for a free or low-cost detailed building energy audit that prescribes, as part of a energy-reducing measures sufficient to achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in energy use, by providing an incentive equal to the documented cost of such audit, but not more than $200, in addition to any earned by achieving a 20 percent or greater efficiency improvement;
(II) a total of $1,000 for a combination of measures, prescribed in an audit conducted under subclause (I), designed to reduce energy consumption by more than 10 percent, and $2,000 for a combination of measures prescribed in such an audit, designed to reduce energy consumption by more than 20 percent;
(III) $3,000 for demonstrated savings of 20 percent, pursuant to a performance-based building retrofit program; and
(IV) $1,000 for each additional 5 percentage points of energy savings achieved beyond savings for which funding is provided under subclause (II) or (III).

If you want to hit that 50 percent savings mark that all new homes have to hit, then you can get as much as $12,200, including inspection, as you scoop all those awards. That's a pretty good chunk of change that should cover most, if not all of the costs of a retrofit on any moderately-sized older house, right? Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Except for that catch and boy is it a doozy.

(ii) MAXIMUM PERCENTAGE- Awards under clause (i) shall not exceed 50 percent of retrofit costs for each building. For buildings with multiple residential units, awards under clause (i) shall not be greater than 50 percent of the total cost of retrofitting the building, prorated among individual residential units on the basis of relative costs of the retrofit.

Did you get that? You'll be on the hook for half of the cost of the retrofit, no matter what. To get the full effect of that part of the bill, I suggest you visit this web page and click the big yellow button right after you finish reading it.

I think Mark Steyn sums it up rather nicely:

I confess I'm finding it harder and harder to see why you fellows bothered holding a revolution. Under this bill, it will be illegal for me to sell my property to a willing buyer without first bringing it into line with some twerp bureaucrat's arbitrary and ever shifting "environmental" regulations originally designed for California, and which have helped turn the Golden State into the foldin' state, but which are nevertheless now to be applied from Maine to Alaska. And no matter what you spend a couple of years down the road the standards will be "revised" and you'll be out of compliance all over again.

And the very worst thing about all this is that it is only one little bit of what the Democrats in Washington want to do to you. Are you getting a little bit upset yet? If not, here are 49 more things they want to do to you in the name of climate change. I'm sure you can find something in there that might give you a reason to contact your Senator today.

Hot Air

And how will this bill affect you? It has regulations on every single aspect of your daily life. There are light bulb restrictions (no more than 60 watts in your candelabra); in fact there’s a whole section that deals with lamps. If you decide to build a new home, it must meet new and specific energy requirements. If you decide to sell your existing home, a federal inspector must inspect your home, determine it’s energy rating, and if your home is found to be unacceptable then you must retrofit and make changes before you will be able to sell.

There’s an entire section on planting trees including guidelines on “scientific based measurements outlining the species and minimum distance required between trees planted…in addition to the minimum required distance to be maintained between such trees and building foundations, air conditioning units, driveways and walkways…”. Do we really need the federal government telling us where we can plant trees?

There’s a section dealing with outdoor lighting in which you are given instructions about landscape lights, lights in your swimming pool, lights on artwork and other architectural lighting. The federal government is going to tell you what wattage that light can be and how many you can have. In some cases the lights must be capable of producing two different light levels (100 and 60 watt).

There are new government regulations for water dispensers, hot tubs and other appliances. They’re going to regulate water usage, and regulate wood stoves. Any wood stove that does not meet regulation must be “destroyed and recycled.”

Stop the ACLU blog

Data Dump: What’s In The Cap And Tax Bill?

"This thing is so long that I had to go back and restart the text of it, as it timed out 5 times (that happens at Thomas). I can’t say I actually read it, but, sure skimmed quite a bit, though, I do not think the 300 page attachment is included yet in the text of the bill. That’s where the pork probably lies. I’m going to give you a slightly disjointed data dump, in some cases long passages, in others just things I saw."

Such as:
They’re coming after your TVs, your furnaces, your blenders, you name it. And there is a requirement that CO2 output be part of the labels on appliances. More cost.

Trips to the dentists will be more expensive if you want Nitrous Oxide, or, maybe dentists will just do away with it, due to the certain coming cost of maintaining the paperwork. If Los Federales allow dentists to even keep it. And notice that last part. the Administrator can designate whatever he wants as a bad gas. Sulfer hexafluoride has many applications, and regulation will drive your costs up. Nitrogen trifluoride is used in flat screen displays. Perfluorocarbon’s have many medical uses, as well as in electrical devices and cosmetics. Cost. Go. Up.


Wild Thing's comment........

Stop the ACLU has a really LONG list from the text of the Cap and Trade bill so if you like I suggest gonig to the link just above and checking it out.

I am terrified of this Cap and Trade and the socialized medicine one coming up. It does not feel good to be afraid like this and I don't like it at all.

It is like these people doing this, writing this bill, PigMan Waxman etc. have all been lifelong patients in a mental hospital and someone let them out in our government and given them free reign. 100% of this crap in this bill should have had them laughing at themselves what idiots they were to even consider it. But they were taken seriously, how scary is that!

That does it, I can't handle it, I am going to put an old movie video on TV and escape, at least we can do that till the Monster bill passes or does not pass. None of this bill should pass, not one sentence, it should be thrown into a big incinerator. IMO it is an insult to our country and it's citizens. It treats us like we are mindless and can't know not to waste water, or not to turn on every light where we live. It is disgusting beyond words!!!!

OH and just one more thing.....Look at this.....sheesh! Waxman making THREATS!

Henry Waxman: GOP rooting against USA


Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who has had an eventful couple of weeks to say the least, believes House Republican opposition to climate change legislation and the stimulus indicates they’re cheering against the good ol’ US of A.
“It appears that the Republican Party leadership in the Congress has made a decision that they want to deny President Obama success, which means, in my mind, they are rooting against the country, as well,” the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman told WAMU radio host Diane Rehm on Tuesday morning, promoting his new book, “The Waxman Report.”

Posted by Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 05:49 AM


Waxman:"I don't know the details. I rely on Scientists".

That would be a valid statement, if he could name a scientist. But Scientists did not write this bill. Cap and Trade was another bill 'rushed' through congress, without being read, without any debate, but to get votes they were bought with the taxpayer being the target of this scam.

Global Warming is a theory at best, but it is presented as fact. The fact are few and far between all the ink used to write this freedom destroying bill. Again there is no evidence to back up the claims.

New homes are to be 30% more efficient when built this is bad enough but this increases to 50% by 2014. Some of the new energy efficient furnaces which cost an arm and a leg boast an efficiency of better than 90 percent. Except for the stove all appliances are motor driven. And now some stoves are equipped with sensors to reduce energy, it doesn't say anything about dinner being fully cooked on time.

There are limits to technology. Escpeically in motors. they reach a point where any further imporovment is not worth the energy saving changes. And the smaller the motor the less efficient it is.

Again Waxman's pseudo Scientists are ignoring the Law of conservation of energy.

In any closed system the total amount of energy is constant.

While the total amount of energy in any closed system does not change, the energy may be changed from one form to another. Not all forms of energy are equally useful to mankind.

When we talk of "energy shortages", we mean shortages of energy in readily usable forms - the total amount of energy in the Universe never changes. But while it is relatively easy to convert chemical energy (e.g. in coal or oil) to other forms (e.g. internal or electrical), it is very difficult to convert internal energy to other forms.

This the bill doesn't consider. What is really going on. This is what Waxman doesn't care about and could care less as long as this bill limits our freedom: of Movement, of choice, of the pursuit of happiness. This bill will cause nothing but misery. And Waxman knows it.

Now to the good part. Inspectors and inspections. Federal, State, local and whoever else they can throw in there to cost the consumer more money and limit the consumers amount of useable funds. In order to become more dependant on Government.

Now the cities, townships will be responsible for inspecting every house in the country. Under the auspices of the States and Federal Government. This will cause taxes to go up in small towns to pay for these bogus inspections. Then the State and Federal inspectors will come in and approve or disapprove the changes made. This leaves the homeowner with two options: Do it yourself, and the chances of failure are 100%...or hire a UNION contractor to do the job, so you pay double and a half just to have the changes done and then have the inspectors back to approve them.

With insulation and energy efficency there is another draw back making the house too tite so that air can not circulate. Energy efficeincy furnaces need clean air to run the way designed.

Then what happens when these targets can't be met because they are too impractical in the first place. Fines of course.

It can only get worse. When I first started in the trades, the NEC(National Electrical Code) was a mere handbook, today it has grown to immense proportions. Building codes, Plumbing codes , HVAC codes all have grown at the same rate. All of those regulations will have to be met then piled on top of that will be all the Federal, State and Local codes.

Who will be AHJ,(Authority Having Jurisdiction)and what will permits and licenses cost. This will be the biggest bureaucratic snafu, ever.

This will evolve to the point that you won't be able to take a crap without Government approval.

Posted by: Mark at July 9, 2009 07:47 AM

Never in my whole life have I ever rooted against America. I want only the best for this nation, the land of my birth and I know it--I was born in the middle of America-Burlington, Iowa on a hot 103 degree summer day with no AC. I detest this bill with all my heart and soul. Henry Waxman is a poor excuse for a man and so horribly bitter. It's like he's saying, "it matters not, he is your king."

Posted by: Lynn at July 9, 2009 08:30 AM

I suggest everyone retain that fine Swedish Law Firm, O.F. Mossberg and Son. Because it will come down to it.
I want it but I didn't read it Wax Man has decided that the congress and the other idiots in the idiot locker inside the beltway have determined that "they know" what it best for us.
A little revolution is good for the soul, every now and then. Perhaps it is time for a Second American Revolution?

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at July 9, 2009 09:25 AM

Almost forgot, he remnds me of a certain "paper hanging sonofabitch" from Austira.

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at July 9, 2009 09:28 AM

I do wish the Progressives would stop speaking for me ~ really.
I'm rooting for the Constitution. And nowhere in the Constitution does it say anyone can come into my home uninvited or without a search warrant (and even that has limitations). There's a reason for the 2nd amendment, which is becoming clearer and clearer every damn day.

Posted by: yankeemom at July 9, 2009 10:05 AM

Everyone now, in unison, make your hand flat, perpendicular to, and at your side, then using a stiff arm raise it to the 10 o'clock position. Click your heels together, and repeat after me: "We're not in Kansas anymore are we Toto?!" In booming voices people, MACHT SCHNELL!!, sing to der Uber Annointed One: "I'm all Reichstag" (sung all lovey dovey to Kenny Loggins's 'I'm All Right'...). The NEW FLAG will be required to be displayed by all citizens as of 6 pm tonight, all disobeying the order will be taken out back and summarily shot. HOPE and CHANGE!

Posted by: pontiff alex at July 9, 2009 10:36 AM

John Hancock to Thomas Jefferson at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: "I don't know the details. I rely on the scientists."

Posted by: pontiff alex at July 9, 2009 10:50 AM

Mark, thank you so much for all of that.
I agree so much.

"This will be the biggest bureaucratic snafu, ever."

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 07:56 PM

Lynn, that is just what Waxman is doing.
When he has not even read hown bill
and doesn't know what is in it, I was
so shocked. This not reading bills too
has got to stop.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 07:58 PM

Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET, it really
might come to that.
Good point too about the paper hanger.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 08:01 PM

Yankeemom, yesssss I am so sick of them
speaking for me too.
That 'the American people want" bs, they
did not ask us.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 08:02 PM

Alex, good one, that is just what this all
feels like for sure. sheesh

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 9, 2009 08:04 PM