Competition: Down the Memory Hole

By November 15, 2007Energy

Henry Payne finds new definitions of “competition” coming into fashion, in a twisted, Orwellian-sort of way. As one might expect, its from those who see real competition as the enemy in their drive to convert the energy economy.

In Michigan: Consumer Choice Coalition Director Barry Cargill, who represents a consortium of business, government, and green groups, says “the evidence is clear that competition is the best way to encourage renewable power for our future electric needs.”

But . . . the CCC is calling for passage of a Renewable Energy Standard that would require all electricity providers to obtain 10-percent of their electricity from renewables by 2015.

In The New York Times: Green columnist Thomas Friedman writes that market demand for green cars “is setting off the same kind of competitive frenzy that has always surrounded the development of sports cars and sport-utility vehicles.”

But . . . only a few graphs later, Friedman discloses that the “demand” is the product of “legislation that would require (that) vehicles to get 35 miles per gallon by 2020.”

On MSNBC: “We need a competitive fuel source to bring down the price of oil and gasoline,” says auto analyst Lou Ann Hammond.

But . . . “I would make it illegal to burn the clippings from your yard or the farmlands. I would require that by 2015 every home being built had to have solar panels and every landfill have a cellulosic plant to take those clippings and make them into cellulosic ethanol.”

Payne concludes: War is peace. Mandates are choices.

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