Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Carbon Credit Cha-Cha

Our President made us a promise:

Coal burning power plants better pay-up or go out of business. At his behest, The House of Representatives passed the Waxed-Malarkey Bill. The Senate, on the other hand has stuck this bill into the recesses of their dusty shelves. To this legislative inaction, our President is moving to implement Cap and Trade by regulatory fiat.

First up is the Director of the EPA announcing an Endangerment Finding, declaring Carbon Dioxide emissions a pollutant to our environment. Furthermore, it has issued a REQUIREMENT dictating that large industrial facilities that emit at least 25,000 tons of Green House Gases a year will be severely restricted (i.e. regulated and taxed to death, implied).

Well, what is a large Coal Burning Power Plant or large Coke Burning Steel Mill to do? Roll over and die? Nah - Just take a page out of the Puerto Rican Sugar Industry, and dance.

You see, at that time Sugar was King in the Island. Growing it for the ravenous U.S. market required thousands upon thousands of acres. The Social Democrats in government (as all socialists do), resented that the Sugar Industry had gobbled-up all of the acreage for itself and its production. What do they do? In 1941 they passed a law limiting to 500 acres, the amount of land that anyone could own. Did Big Sugar roll over and crumble? Oh Noes! It created a series of paper companies who's sole purpose was to hold title of no more than 500 acres of land. In the Land Registry, all of these paper companies all of a sudden became next door neighbors, and Sugar kept growing upon the land UNIMPEDED (pictures in the above links are of the industry in 1940).

Flash forward to today, the EPA is ready at the hammer to punish energy producers far and wide. If our President and his gaggle of Eco-chondriacs want to run power companies out of business, I say let's do it. Power Companies must adapt and get out of this business. This is my modest proposal.

Let's take Kansas City Power and Light Company KCP&L, for example. As of today, they must pump thousands of tons of Carbon Dioxide into the air. As it stands they are hunkering down to getting walloped for every ton of CO2 that they produce above 25K Tons. I do not know what their real output really is, but for sake of argument let's say that they currently belch out 40K Tons.

What if KCP&L becomes a holding company, and it allows a plethora of companies to form under its sheltering umbrella as follows

A) Company Alfa: In charge of distribution and customer service,

B) Company Zulu: Owner of the physical power plant,

C) Company Bravo: In charge of 1/2 of power production,

D) Company Sierra: In charge of 1/2 of power production.

KCP&L is just the plain repository upon which the ownership of all of these "independent" companies are parked. Thus, it does not pollute.

-Company Alfa (distribution and customer service) does not emit a single molecule of carbon.

-Company Zulu only owns the inert machinery of the power plant (i.e. railroad siding, elevator, furnace, generator, etc) The machines by themselves do not pollute. It is only the burning of the coal that does.

Which brings us to Companies Bravo and Sierra. Company Bravo is in production only between January and June, and Company Sierra from July through December. They both lease the physical plant from Company Zulu for six months out of a year. Personnel running the power plant become contract workers, with 6-month terms. They immediately get "rehired" upon being "dismissed" every June and December. Each company only produces 20K Tons of CO2. To boot, they can even sell their 5 remaining Tons as Credits to AlGore's Carbon Shakedown Exchange Company!

The above sounds like a lot of Bravo-Sierra, but if that's the way the EPA wants to drum the industry down, that's the B.S. that the industry must dance to.

In the business world today there are many holding companies, which shelter even more "independent' companies. This is done mainly to get around our onerous Tax Code.

For example Sears Holdings Company, shelters:

Sears, Roebuck and Company,
The Great Indoors,
Land's End,
Structure Men's Clothing and,
Radio Shack.

If this type of corporate structure is good enough with the IRS and its Tax Code, it will be good enough too with the EPA and its Environmental Code. The precedent is already set, all power companies must do is to follow this corporate structure and make their case.

I say: Put on your Carbon Cha-Cha dancing shoes and DANCE!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Free State Follies (Part I)

Please indulge me in a bit of parochial musings, as I delve into the twisted minds that inhabit the political class of my Free State of Maryland. Though what I am about to write on directly affects the residents of this state, it also indirectly affect all other denizens and readers who call The United States, their home.

Not contented in Gerrymandering our state into absolute OBLIVION. Not satisfied with Motor-Votering each one of its citizens into the voting rolls, our state legislators now want to ballot-stuff their way into guaranteed assured victory.

Working its way in our State Legislature are two identical bills which will enshrine into our State Constitution, Instant Voter Registration (HB-322 and SB-417).

Currently, in order to register, one has to fill-in and submit to the local board of elections The Maryland Voter Registration Application roughly 50 to 30 prior to the elections. Details HERE.

The Application admonishes you to present a valid Maryland Driver's License, but if you do not have one, to "voluntarily" divulge the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. But, in even smaller print, it advises you that if you do not have a Driver's License, do not have an SSN (or do not want to submit it), you can simply make a statement in which you:

While the above is does not deter a serious ballot-stuffer from making a mockery of our electoral system, at least it presents a modest speed-bump to their evil designs. But when Instant Voter Registration gets enshrined into our Constitution, nothing will impede the serial ballot stuffer from visiting every single voting precinct in the state and casting his/her spurious vote over and over.

They could register as Mr. Acorn Drone with an SSN: 1234 in one precinct, as Mr. Seiu Thuggy with SSN:5678 in another, REPEAT... The only thing that will be valid is a true address picked at random within the confines of said precincts. Under the new Constitutional regime, who would ever catch them? They would surely be four states over before anyone catches on to their game.
If you live in the State of Maryland, I write your local State Delegates and Senators (you can find them HERE), and write them a stern letter to bring them to their senses.

If you do not live in the State, please find out what's worming its way in your local legislature. Local legislator are afflicted from group-think, this madness wasn't engendered here in Maryland. Chances are that the same constitutional infestation is plaguing your local law critters.
There are other whoppers that the crazies in Annapolis are seriously considering. I shall be commenting on them too shortly. But in the mean time, we must all get busy in saving what little sanity remains within the government halls of our states.