Friday, July 11, 2008

Breathe, but not too deeply.

Still substantively on page 8 of the 52 pages of Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008 of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, also known as the Green Communities Act, I did skim ahead and found that there are 124 Sections of the Act, at least 53 of which are just inserting sections or words into the existing laws, 25 of which are effective date related, and one actually repeals something!

SECTION 59. Subsection (f) of section 1A of chapter 164 of the Generals Laws is hereby repealed.

Well, that’s exciting. Let’s find out what has been repealed, shall we?

A quick glance (and careful number, letter, parenthesis, period, and italics following) yields that that there is no subsection (f) of Chapter 164 section 1A! The one ray of light in the entire document refers to the repeal of a non-existent subsection!

It’s really hard reading through the laws not only due to the convoluted, sub-sectioned, and awkwardly referential language, but mostly because it is a naked attempt to centralize electrical utilities which seems to have been accomplished with any possible dissent muffled under the warm and fuzzy Green blanket.

It’s another bureaucratic behemoth that feeds itself on the auction of allowances, defined as “an authorization to emit a fixed amount of carbon dioxide”. The auction/allowance program administered by the state under a gigantic amount of new regulations yet to be promulgated, calls for the a gigantic increase in the bureaucracy, including, but certainly not limited to a new office under the attorney general of “ratepayer advocacy”, an assistant attorney general whose “full time and attention” will be devoted to that new office, special consultants to help that assistant, not to mention the new staffing required for the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Energy Resources to push the papers (oops, maybe they’ve gone paperless – you know, save a tree or two) paid for by whom? You (me in this case).

The sheer increase in hoop-jumping the utilities must soon go through is truly staggering. In addition to a consumer tax per kilowatt hour to fund the energy programs, this Act strangles utilities in cost analysis and charges them with developing eight specific programs, but is not limited to such. All of this is done under the pretext of saving the consumer money. Again, I’m on page 8 of 52.

What will all this new state government accomplish? According to SECTION 7 of the Act which amends Chapter 21A of the MGL, the “Cap and trade program” will control emissions that will achieve the desired environmental effects. That’s it.

Before you non-Masssuicites get smug, you might want to take a look at that same SECTION 7, section 22 (e):

The responsibilities created by establishing a carbon dioxide cap and trade program shall be in addition to any other responsibilities imposed by any other general or special law or rule or regulation and shall not diminish or reduce any power of authority of the department, including the authority to adopt standards and regulation necessary for the commonwealth to join and fully participate in a multistate program at any stage in the development and implementation of such a program intended to control emissions of carbon dioxide or other substances that are determined by the department to be damaging or altering the climate.

This is just the beginning. The Memorandum of Understanding dated December 20, 2005 (a scant 20 pages and based on “growing scientific consensus”), and its subsequent Model Rule (a whopping 163 pages “designed to stabilize and then reduce anthropogenic emissions of CO2”, so the livestock have been spared) establishes these cap and trade programs within the northeast region of the United States and other regions established by the RGGI (a regional cooperative effort to reduce CO2 emissions – “a greenhouse gas which causes global warming”).

I hate to get all alea jacta est here, but this is pretty bad. The best we can hope for is that this program gets so heavy it suffocates under the weight of its own carbon dioxide load. If this shows us anything it's that once laws are made, they are seldom repealed.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Good for you for delving into the legalese. I've tried and I always stumble when I find out that the whole lawyerly profession uses some very common English word in some very wierd super-legal way.

Nice history reference! I even remember how to pronounce it. Boy, I miss listening to the lectures too. My littlest will let me listen in.