Bushwa from the WaPo on Energy

By June 25, 2007Energy

The Washington Post’s editorial page is a pretty good product, representing some real thought and balance on the issues (especially compared to the commissariat over at The New York Times). But who writes the Post’s editorials on energy? Whoever it is never met a consumer they didn’t want to ding, a (carbon) tax they wanted to raise, or a dynamic market force they wanted to ignore.

Today’s opinion piece, “Some Positive Energy — Now start talking about a carbon tax,” features such beauts as:

The Bad: The original bill would have created a renewable energy standard requiring utilities to produce 15 percent of their power from renewable sources, such as wind, solar or ethanol, by 2020. That provision was defeated, continuing America’s ill-fated romance with dirty coal and foreign oil.

The provision was defeated because it was impractical — note to Post: the wind doesn’t blow everywhere in the United States — and would have dramatically increased electricity costs. And does the editorialist think the United States is going to abandon coal, its most abundant energy resource?

More folderol:

The Ugly: Senate Republicans used a procedural vote to kill $32 billion in tax credits and incentives for renewable energy producers. They were doing the bidding of the oil and gas industry, which objected to trimming some of its existing tax credits and raising other taxes to pay the cost of incentives to companies working to create new sources of clean energy and to promote energy efficiency.

Our highlighting. The Post is endorsing a multibillion-dollar tax increase, one that would passed on to the consumer at the pump and in almost every product manufacturered in the United States.

Oh great, anonymous editorialist, so wiser than the market’s aggregated wisdom: Please read this letter by former Sens. Don Nickles (R-OK) and J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA).

While proposals ranging from gasoline “price-gouging” laws and windfall profits taxes to increased renewable fuels standards and higher automotive fuel efficiency regulations may be well-intentioned, passage of those initiatives would, in aggregate, result in undue hardships that will ultimately impact every American family, employee and employer.

We urge senators to view these proposals in tandem with the potential costs, including: higher prices for fuel, electricity, food, manufacturing and services; gasoline shortages; limited domestic energy capacity; increased reliance on foreign sources of crude oil and gasoline; decreased capital investment; lower economic growth; and new national security vulnerabilities.

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