Bad Bill of the Week: HB135 – “Eccentric Energy Efficiency Enforcement”

Energy efficiency is all the rage these days. “Green” products are hip, and saving the environment is supposedly as easy as turning your lights off at night. There is nothing wrong with individuals engaging in voluntary actions they perceive will help reduce our ecological footprint. Moreover, such actions can also lower utility bills, helping us save money in the long run.

However, “green” products and “renewable energy” normally cost more and as such many people opt not to buy eco-friendly products, or struggle to afford higher energy costs.

House Bill 135 “Efficient and Affordable Energy Rates Bill” introduced by Representatives Keever (D- Buncombe), Parfitt (D-Cumberland), and Moore (D-Mecklenburg) seeks to force peoples’ choice by introducing a whole slew of mandates aimed at forcing energy efficiency, and uses strong arm tactics to ensure that citizens conform to their idea of energy policy. Senator Kinnaird (D- Orange, Person) introduced a corresponding bill in the Senate (SB 367).

The bill introduces tiered power rates based off of how much energy residential, commercial, public, and industrial customers use throughout the day. As larger quantities of energy are used, the cost per kilowatt hour goes up. Furthermore, power used during peak demand periods, such as mornings before persons go to work and afternoons as they return, would cost more than energy used during off hours.

The most egregious section of the bill, however, is the amendment to the general statues entitled “Avoidable Pollution Tax for Certain Energy Inefficient Products,” which targets  certain energy consuming products for higher taxes.

In this section, a privilege tax would be imposed on every “inefficient” energy product sold by retailers. In layman’s terms, retailers (and customers by extension) would be charged increased rates for selling inexpensive goods that are not as technologically advanced; an effort to force the sale of more expensive, eco-friendly products. Goods that are normally less expensive would be artificially inflated in a government attempt to dissuade their purchase.

This of course is on top of already existing sales taxes, skyrocketing prices and limiting access to affordable goods.

With the economic downturn, North Carolinians are having a hard enough time trying to make ends meet as it is. The last thing they need is government interference pushing prices up in a misguided effort to force change in energy consumption habits. The government should focus its efforts instead on ensuring persons keep as much of their money as possible, using it as they see fit.

For meddling with free market rates on goods, for unnecessarily raising costs of consumer products, and for attempting to enforce idealistic energy agendas using strong arm tactics, HB 135/SB 367 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week. 

This article was posted in Bad Bill of the Week by Andrew Blackburn on June 6, 2011 at 3:30 PM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at http://www.nccivitas.org/2011/bad-bill-of-the-week-hb135-eccentric-energy-efficiency-enforcement/

Comments on this article

  • 1

    Pedant
    Pedant Jun 06, 2011 at 16:03

    Where’s the editor?

  • 2

    Francis De Luca
    Francis De Luca Jun 07, 2011 at 17:20

    Pedant,

    Is there a specific problem with this article that requires more editing?

  • 3

    Jerry Alexander
    Jerry Alexander Jun 08, 2011 at 7:16

    If anyone thinks an American will do anything to put a stop to these TOXIC lights bulbs think again.Most American won`t know anything about these Killer Light Bulbs until they are caught using iridescent light bulbs,and fined,and,or,Imprisoned.Does anyone really think America would be in the shape it`s in if Americans really give a damn for anything other than themselves?American`s are so bush trying to blame others for their demise when in FACT it`s the sorry American`s themselves…get over it!! Oh! please say hello to the leader of your country..the one YOU elected.

  • 4

    Jerry Alexander
    Jerry Alexander Jun 08, 2011 at 7:18

    Incandescent light bulbs that! is for those that have nothing better to do than call people on their spelling…they can do that for sure but! do something for their country is a different thing all together.

  • 5

    DON ABERNATHY
    DON ABERNATHY Jun 08, 2011 at 7:55

    The one thing no one has mentioned, is that 100% of the new fangled light bulbs are made in China. That means we will be totaly dependent on China for light.
    Al Gore is one of the top stock holders in the Chinese company.
    Makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

  • 6

    John Difloure
    John Difloure Jun 08, 2011 at 8:05

    I hope the f—–g environmentalists freeze in the dark!

  • 7

    Old Coot
    Old Coot Jun 08, 2011 at 9:47

    They took er’ jobs!!

  • 8

    Larry
    Larry Jun 08, 2011 at 10:22

    We sent Republicans to the Assembly to put a stop to this nonsense. What do we need to send next, the militia?

    I’m tired of government mandating every move I make in the form of taxation, penalty, fine or forfeiture.

    It’s time to put these little Napoleons back in their place to worry about fixing the potholes and leave us alone.

  • 9

    Jim
    Jim Jun 08, 2011 at 11:09

    How many people have to become ill or die as a result of widely distributing a high density of glass vials of mercury among the populous? Oh, but that alright no one will break any of these “time bombs” and let the nasty genie out of the bottle, so I guess Al Gore and his friendly, caring friend, the Chinese, need our money and our jobs.

  • 10

    Tom Glendinning
    Tom Glendinning Jun 08, 2011 at 12:27

    Yep, make Americans pay 7-15 X more for a lite bub and take away the Nela Road GE plant in East Cleveland which made lite bubs for 70 years. Makes sense to me, ……….if I did not think.
    Besides, moving manufacturing and mining out of this country reduces pollution here. Rare earth mining in China and Pacific rim countries causes awfully bad pollution over there and health issues with primitive work forces. No problem here with the EPA or DHHS or CDC. Nope!
    Yes, sir. Let’s move all the high paying industries overseas. Certainly, service industries will make up the difference in wages. Need your lawn mowed? Your house painted? Your dog walked?

  • 11

    Geppetto
    Geppetto Jun 08, 2011 at 13:06

    This is the result of the environmental Left immersed in their religion of anthropogenic global warming that will cause the seas to rise and the earth to turn into an infernal ball of fire unless the commoners, the ignoramuses, the gluttonous pigs, the evil profiteers, the ugly Americans, don’t stop ignoring the college educated, intellectual elites, figuratively soaring above in their noble, green atmosphere, who, to save themselves, find it necessary to save all our sorry asses from our useless, infuriatingly ignorant selves. Unfortunately for these “noble, brilliant,” narcissists the rest of the industrial world doesn’t give a crap for their “courageous stance” in the face of overwhelming odds and in violation of their favorite bugaboo, conventional wisdom. They, “the rest” will let your bleeding hearts bleed and applaud as you inflict irreparable damage on your home country, a process they’d find far more difficult without you.

    But, knowing how the Left embraces compassion here’s a little help for their tortured sensibilities. If you’re able to open your closed minds to consider the possibility that human activity may not be the first order cause of your most recent, cherished prediction of global disaster, check these out for starters. You can thank me later.

    http://www.fcpp.org/index.php
    http://www.conservative.org/acuf/issue-179/issue179cul2

    Whatever you do, know this: This country was never built on the premise that a group of self annointed elites would or should insert themselves as the final arbiters of what constitutes individual freedom. If one is inclined to think that going Green is their best choice, by all means, go for it but give everyone the same freedom that allows you to make such a choice, to make their own. You don’t have to like it but this is still America and we are all free to stay or leave as we see fit.

  • 12

    Tom Glendinning
    Tom Glendinning May 22, 2013 at 13:04

    I have a cache of old incandescent light bulbs, which I plan to use until they are outlawed.
    At that point, you will hear the phrase “molon labe.”

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