Waxman–Markey’s Gravy Train: Why the Electric Industry Got on Board (Getting favors, adding pages to H.R. 2454)

nsr-kentucky-power-plant“I expect all the bad consequences from the chambers of Commerce and manufacturers establishing in different parts of this country, which your Grace seems to foresee…. The regulations of Commerce are commonly dictated by those who are most interested to deceive and impose upon the Public.” – Adam Smith, 1785 letter. In The Correspondence of Adam Smith.

By Robert Peltier

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454, aka Waxman–Markey) was narrowly adopted by the House of Representatives on June 26. As has become standard practice, few legislators were familiar with the final 1,428-page bill, given all the horse-trading hours before the final vote.

Waxman–Markey was a low point in the political process, but what made passage possible was worse: highly organized support from some quarters of the electric utility industry and a lack of protestation from much of the rest.

Some industry parties believe that their lobbyists successfully watered down an extremely disruptive legislative draft to the point that the final was merely distasteful. But compared to killing the bill, which could have been done had the industry been so minded, getting “a seat at the table” resulted in passage.

I remember when ”getting a seat” in legislative negotiations included infiltrating and defeating bad proposals. Today, it means ensuring your company gets a piece of the political pork. Such “rent-seeking” substitutes political capitalism for principled free-market capitalism and leaves virtually all of us poorer.

Read the rest of this piece at MasterResource.

3 Responses to Waxman–Markey’s Gravy Train: Why the Electric Industry Got on Board (Getting favors, adding pages to H.R. 2454)

  1. paul wenum October 5, 2009 at 12:08 am #

    GE loves it. That’s why I’m against it. I hate paying $5.00 for a light bulb!!! I think I will stock up on regular light bulbs liker they did in Europe!!

  2. Rob N. Hood October 7, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    You can pay much less than that actually. And there’s no law that says you have to BTW. The free-market will ultimately determine the future of those bulbs, will it not?

  3. Paul Wenum October 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    Markets will take care of it,agreed. I like the originals better. No need to spent the money if they would rescind this stupid law. I’m trying to get a carbon foot print as big as Al Gores and George Soros. Now that is a challenge and expensive!!! I don’t live in a mansion, nor get escorted 1/2 mile in 10 SUV’s. The old saying “do as I say, not what I do.” Typical Gore/Soros.

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