The White House is boasting that the energy bill President Bush signed on Wednesday is actually less ambitious than the agenda proposed in his State of the Union address earlier this year. That's praising with faint damns.
As recently as last week, it seemed the final draft might have raised taxes on the oil and gas industries by some $21 billion to fund subsidies for wind and solar projects. Another provision required that utilities produce 15% of their electricity from "renewable" sources, regardless of supply; currently they are a mere 3%. All that was relegated to a Congressional dumpster, thanks to veto threats from the White House.
The pity is that the entire bill didn't go to the same place. The Administration's environmental views are supposedly paleolithic, but it's long been obvious that Mr. Bush has also bought into some of the Beltway's most useless energy superstitions. This political panic is bipartisan.
What a collosal waste of taxpayer's money. Ethanol features prominently in the bill and there are also subsidies for bio diesel. The most invasive part of the bill though is the mandate that incandescent light bulbs be phased out by 2012 in favor of compact flourescent bulbs. My wife is not going to be happy. Like many others, she hates the light from flourescent bulbs. Why should a bunch of politicians tell me what kind of light bulb I can use?