15 October 2009

Thank You, California Energy Commission for Enacting Regulations That Will Enable an Exciting and Profitable Side Business...

Idiocy, pure idiocy.

Intended consequence, lower energy usage, more efficient TVs being sold, and the reintroduction of unicorns into the wild.

(I may have made up the unicorn part)

Real world effects:

An exciting new business opportunity for TV smugglers. Their regulatory reach only extends to the sales of new televisions, not to the possession or ongoing operation of less efficient designs. Someone needs to tell our commissioners that California isn't an island, that there is no part of the state that is more than a 4 hour drive from some other state where you will still be able to buy any kind of TV you want (assuming Oregon, Nevada and Arizona don't get stupid and join our commissioners in their ill thought out bit of regulatory overreach).

It won't take many TV smugglers driving to and from their homebase to a neighboring state with big ass TVs in their gas guzzlers to eat up the supposed energy savings by limiting consumer options on larger TV screen purchases within California. So, say good bye to high end sales in state, and say hello to a steady stream of large TVs being ferried by private parties after being purchased elsewhere.

If energy use is too high, then quit subsidizing electricity and folks will figure out that a 46 inch TV that doesn't produce a massive electrical bill is a better value than a 58 inch TV that leads to massive monthly costs.

They're attacking the problem from the wrong end. Energy is the life blood of modern economies, rather than micromanaging folks' choices in how they choose to equip their entertainment center (first they came for the big TVs, next they'll go after high powered audio systems, those crank out huge wattage, as well), the California Energy Commission should commission and fast track the building of more power plants. The greenest, cleanest, and potentially cheapest power available with current technologies remains nuclear power. If it's good enough for France, Japan, India, and even Brazil, then it damn well is good enough for the people of California.

If we create a robust energy grid that produces no carbon, then we can be green, while also charge far lower energy rates than our neighbors, thereby making California attractive for industry again. As an added bonus to the 'build lots of nuclear plants' approach, we can handle the added demand on the grid should electric vehicles take off, and make the operation of them vastly cheaper than traditional vehicles (right now they are about three times cheaper per mile than an efficient gas powered car, but with all the other headaches, they aren't an attractive choice, make them ten or twenty times cheaper, and then folks will be more willing to put up with the tradeoffs when compared to gas powered vehicles)

But, that's too reasonable an approach, and nuclear power remains demonized, so instead our commissioners commit the kind of micromanaging stupidity that makes California a place to visit, and not a place to stay, for more and more folks.

(I'm avoiding ranting about how the LAT article reads like a press release from the Commission, how it parrots the assumptions made by the commission without question, and how it doesn't address how these sort of bans will just drive sales to neighboring states without changing consumer habits, it's the usual job of slanting coverage through what's not said that anyone who chooses to pay attention comes to expect from the usual suspects)

But, driving an Element as I do, I figure with the back seats out, I can carry 4-5 big screens at a time, so thanks for the business opportunity. The proceeds from a monthly smuggling run should be able to pay for hotel and gaming fun in Las Vegas about once a month, so I really should be thanking you fellas for coming up with such a great idea.

No comments: