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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Representative Kate Knuth's Green Solutions Package - A Green Menace

As referenced in a previous post, Representative Kate Knuth issued a press release a couple of weeks ago that should assure her ouster from office, especially when one considers that this came out before the tax shakedown and veto override.

Generally if Representative Knuth has a solution, the odds are very good that there really isn't a problem or the question is really stupid. Below is some point-by-point analysis of this pointless (other than for self-serving self-adulation) press release.

Let's begin with the impressive sounding title:
Green Solutions Package Offers Exciting Opportunities to Grow Minnesota Jobs
Uh-oh! Warning, danger Will Robinson! Platitudinous buzzwords detected that are often a precursor to liberal spin designed to obfuscate. We'll see...

Continuing on:
The 2008 Legislative Session began on Tuesday, February 12, setting a fast pace unlike any seen in recent years. Our focus this session will be on the best ways to create jobs to stimulate Minnesota's flagging economy.
Translation: BOHICA! Your savings and freedom, and possibly your employment status, is about to take a gigantic hit...
One of the most exciting prospects for job creation came during the first week of session when I stood with some of the legislature's leading energy and environmental experts to introduce the first part of the Green Solutions Package.
The "legislature's leading energy and environmental experts" is liberal-speak for "big government socialists who can't make an honest living in the private sector but want to run the world".

The use of the word "solutions" implies that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. There actually is a very real problem that critically needs to be addressed, but the election is not until the fall (and the solution is "Representative Lori Grivna").
This creative and practical package of proposals provides a comprehensive set of strategies to create and stimulate a "green economy" that puts Minnesota on the cutting edge of energy efficiency efforts and brings tens of thousands of good-paying, reliable 'green-collar' jobs to our state.
How self-serving can one get? Again we are under an excess platitudes warning as well as a BS watch. "Creative and Practical"? From whose perspective? The very idea that an "economy" can be created and stimulated purely by legislative fiat is the height of arrogance, not to mention economic ignorance.

"Tens of thousands of good-paying jobs..."? Just what is this rather optimistic claim based on? What is the definition of "good-paying" or, for that matter, "jobs"?
Minnesota passed nation-leading energy policy last year including a goal to reduce global warming pollution 80% by 2050.
"Minnesota passed nation-leading energy policy last year". This sounds painful, but is nothing compared to the ecomomic duress this legislation will cause if it ever sees the light of day.

"Nation-leading" is a polite way of saying that Minnesota was the first state that had elected officials clueless enough to pass this garbage. There may be a good reason (such as "common sense") that no one else has done this...

The goal to reduce global warming "pollution" by any amount is a complete throw away. Is "global warming" a pollutant? What units of measure does the "80%" figure reference? Does Kate plan to still be in office in 2050 (actually, she probably does) so that we can hold her and her DFL cronies accountable?

Also note that this is a "goal" for state government with no mention of penalty to the government if it is not met. Contrast this to the mandates imposed on citizens and businesses with real financial and/or legal penalties for failure.
With this action, we set a long-term vision to change the way we produce, distribute, and use energy in our state that strengthens our fight against global warming.
Too bad it has the side effects of destroying the economy, running roughshod on personal liberty, and driving talent and capital out of the state and overall accomplishing absolutely nothing other than growing government.
While last year set the vision, it was only a first step. The next step is to create a real plan for real action to make the vision a reality and solidify our goals with practical economic tools.
Translation: We in the legislature have not yet begun to confiscate your wealth and run your lives.
The first component of this action plan is the "Green Solutions Act", which sets a framework for a "cap and trade" program - a very simple and powerful way to address global warming.
This so-called action plan should be titled the "Green Tyranny Act" as it sets a framework for a massive tax and regulate bureaucracy. A simpler and more effective way to address global warming is to admit that it is a crock of crap and quit using it as an excuse to destroy the economy by taxing and regulating the people into serfdom.
Minnesota has already begun the process of negotiating a regional cap and trade program with other Midwestern states and a Canadian province.
Is this even Constitutional? Since when do states have the Constitutional authority to enter into such agreements? What are the enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms when entities within the program try to manipulate it to their advantage?
The Green Solutions Act complements this process. Establishment of a regional "cap and trade" program would limit global warming pollution and the require polluters to purchase credits equal to their annual greenhouse gas emissions. It would act as an incentive for manufacturers to develop new and cleaner technologies. This regional cap and trade system would include the electrical and transportation sectors, large industrial facilities, landfills, and a number of other industry sectors.
Welcome to Green Totalitarianism v1.0, brought to you by The Government of the People's Republic of Minnesota.
State revenue raised by the Green Solutions Act would be placed in a Climate Trust Fund, used to further reduce emissions and minimize the economic impacts on workers, businesses, and low-income families by providing direct payments or refunds for those affected most by the transition. We would also be able to make greater investments in public transit and in worker training and retention programs that help us convert to the new energy economy.
The state will raise revenue by this act? I am absolutely shocked!

This "Climate Trust Fund" sounds like yet another slush fund for politicians to tap for nefarious purposes. This is nothing more than a redistribution of wealth from which government first takes a big cut. This is downright scary and sounds like something that belongs more in the old Soviet Union than Minnesota.
The second part of the plan calls for Minnesota to adopt the Minnesota Clean Car Act, modeled after California's newly adopted emission standards. The bill would require automobile manufacturers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in all new cars by 2016. Car manufacturers could easily reach these standards by making improvements to a car's engine, tires, transmission, and air conditioning systems. These technologies are readily available and currently in-use by automobile companies worldwide.
California emission standards? Knuth is out of her what passes for her mind! There are many engineering considerations and trade-offs involved in making an internal combustion engine run efficiently within the air temperature ranges that will be experienced in Minnesota, let alone making it run clean. She obviously has not driven a California vehicle when the ambient temperature is -20F. Yes, the problems can be solved but may price the end vehicle right out of the marketplace. Sorry, I forgot about the Climate Trust Fund that could subsidize the problem out of existence (as well as driving productive citizens and companies out of the state).

What bodily orifice did the 30% figure or the 2016 deadline come from?

"Car manufacturers could easily reach these standards...". Wow! I didn't realize that Representative Knuth was also an automotive engineer. And how does she define "easily"? Notice that she does not use words like "economically" or "practically". I for one do not feel safe driving around in an upholstered roller skate that would be required to meet some ridiculously arbitrary edicts (personally, I try to avoid driving anything smaller than a half-ton). And the $50,000 or so price tag the average car will have will add severe economic injury to the extensive physical injury that will result in the event of a crash (but don't worry because socialized medicine will take care of you if you survive the accident).

I would really like to see a some support for the assertion that these technologies are "readily available" as well as something that at least resembles an honest cost/benefits analysis.
Just think of the opportunities this new manufacturing sector could create for high-paying manufacturing jobs right here in Minnesota. The recently closed Ford plant in St. Paul is just one example of a facility that could be retrofitted to produce these new and increasingly in-demand vehicles.
And why didn't Ford jump right in and retrofit the plant in its own self interest? If there are high-paying manufacturing jobs involved that means a highly-profitable operation, right? Those dummies at Ford could have solved all of their financial problems just by asking Representative Knuth! But what do they know? They're just MBAs, engineers, and businessmen with years of real world experience, not uber-geniuses like Comrade Knuth with years of academic puttering...uh, never mind.
Just as President Kennedy inspired us in 1961 with a grand vision that sent a man to the moon within a decade, today we're called to act on another great vision to sustain the earth for our children and our grandchildren.
Talk about delusions of grandeur! Equating the technological advances that were required for the moon landing with this bogus proposal for big government intrusion into our lives is sophomoric, to put it politely (our family friendly policy prevents me from putting it absolutely accurately). The engineering achievement of the moon landing is a monument to the intelligence and creativity of the human race. Knuth's "visionary" proposal is just commonplace socialist garbage where those who can't produce take from those who can and redistribute it to others who can't (after sanctimoniously taking credit for how much they care, not to mention a sizeable cut of the money involved).

President Kennedy also asserted that "a rising tide lifts all boats" as he explained his reasoning for advocating tax cuts. Apparently Kate was playing hooky when this was taught or her dimwit professors never learned it for themselves. Or perhaps the over-funded, under performing public school system that Knuth worships and provides with endless funding never taught it.
The stakes are high, but the cost of inaction is higher. Acting on this vision with practical solutions, we can make dramatic improvements in the way we produce and use energy in Minnesota and lead the way to a brighter, cleaner and healthier future.
Knuth finally, and mercifully, ends her self-serving tripe with more platitudes and touchy-feelies. The only way this legislation can achieve its stated goal of leading to a "brighter, cleaner, and healthier future" is if it is never implemented and its author is voted out of office.

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Blogger Mark said...

Great analysis, point by devastating point. The propsals if adopted won't help the environment, but they will provide a lot more jobs for bureaucrats to adminster trust funds and the regulatory apparatus needed to impose this bizzare vision.

I know two automotive engineers (one who works for GM, another who works for Ford) and I could envision that they would be able to solve problems related to automobile emissions. In fact, there are a lot of exciting developments ongoing. But it won't happen by government fiat. All you have to do is look at the current government-directed ethanol craze to see how this one is going to work out.

Sometimes I think the Apollo program was one of the worst things that has happened to this nation, because it convinced a lot of people that government had the ability to direct scientific endeavor and industrial policy.

3/02/2008 8:09 PM  

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