This week’s Bad Bill of the Week is SB 362, Study Energy Efficiency Standards. Sponsored by Sen. Eleanor Kinnaird (D-Orange), this bill would create a study of an ineffective “tiered” billing format for electricity, impossible goals for electricity-use reduction, and an ambiguous “pollution tax.”
Tiered electricity rates mean that the more electricity you use, the higher per kilowatt-hour rate you pay. It would also charge higher rates during peak energy use times. Such a mechanism is popular in other states such as California, but according to the Los Angeles Times, “A growing body of research suggests that not only does tiered pricing fail to meet these goals, it is counterproductive: It neither encourages conservation nor helps low-income people pay for power.”
SB 362 also states that such tiered pricing would create a decrease of total electricity consumption in the state by a whopping 60 percent below 2010 levels – and in just 10 years. In a state with a growing population, that seems especially unrealistic. Imagine attempting to curb your electricity use by 60 percent – do you really leave that many lights on?
Moreover, the bill also raises the potential for “a pollution tax on certain appliances” – those deemed as not meeting “energy star” status. There are also proposed taxpayer handouts for “energy efficiency activities,” whatever those may be defined to be. Clearly, these last provisions are designed as a boondoggle for politically-correct appliance makers, at taxpayers’ expense.
SB 362 is an attempt to further micromanage our daily lives and empower politicians with more control over everyday comforts of living we enjoy. Such an intrusion into our lives and use of private property is unacceptable, and that is why SB 362 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.