Okay, so they aren’t really trying to legislate the laws of physics but the stupid/sloppy/careless/whatever reporter(s) and editor(s) make it sound like they are:
Congress by a wide margin approved the first increase in automobile fuel economy in 32 years Tuesday, and President Bush plans to quickly sign the legislation, accepting the mandates on the auto industry.
The energy bill, boosting mileage by 40 percent to 35 miles per gallon, passed the House 314-100 and now goes to the White House, following the Senate’s approval last week.
Do you see that? All it takes to increase the fuel economy is to pass a law. It’s as if they can’t distinguish between a law of physics and a law of man. They would get my “crap for brains” tag just for that alone. But they continue on, apparently thinking they can somehow change the laws of economics in the same bill:
In a dramatic shift to spur increased demand for nonfossil fuels, the bill also requires a six-fold increase in ethanol use to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, a boon to farmers. And it requires new energy efficiency standards for an array of appliances, lighting and commercial and government buildings.
“This is a choice between yesterday and tomorrow” on energy policy, declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who was closely involved in crafting the legislation. “It’s groundbreaking in what it will do.”
If it changes the laws of physics and economics then Pelosi is correct. If not then she is another fascist. My bet is on a fascism outcome. And, people know it will fail and aren’t being entirely quiet about it:
“What we have here is a mandatory conservation bill,” said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. He argued that the auto fuel efficiency requirements and the huge increase in ethanol use may not prove to be technologically or economically possible.
Although I’m opposed to our lawmakers doing this personally it’s great economic news for our family. The big push and subsidies for ethanol over the last few years has pushed the price of wheat to over $10/bushel in the last few weeks (via Idaho Wheat Commission).
Even this graph doesn’t give the “big picture”. The price of wheat has been in the $3 to $5 range for over 30 years. That’s unadjusted for inflation. A lot of the equipment my family uses on the farm is over 30 years old. The bulldozer I use for making modifications to the Boomershoot site is over 60 years old. I visited the farm last weekend and they were putting new tires on tractor which still had the original rubber on it until a week or so ago–rubber that was over 30 years old. They have been hurting for decades and now they are finally making a profit and are attempting to upgrade their equipment.
You might ask, “Why is the price of wheat, delivered to Portland Oregon doubling and tripling in price (the price for delivery in March of 2008 is over $13/bushel) when all the ethanol is made from corn in the Midwest?” It’s because wheat is a substitute grain for corn in some situations. And because a lot of the Northwest farmers are planting more wheat to take advantage of the higher profits to be made the supply of lentils and peas (also grown on our farm) is going down and the prices are going up on those as well.
So when the bozos in congress attempt to challenge the laws of economics the best they can do is obscure the costs of their meddling. The costs of their actions are spread out in strange places via obscure mechanisms but eventually the consumers will pay the price, one way or another.