04.30.07

California vs…

Posted in Health, Politics, Resources at 8:30 am by justakim

California seems to be on a roll. Where’s this handbasket going?

One day after Governor Schwarzenegger threatens the EPA with a lawsuit over car regulations, California filed one against the Department of Energy because their request for a waiver that would allow them to have stricter standards for washing machines were denied. The regulation proposed in 2004 would require washing machines to use no more than 8.5 gallons of water by 2007 and even less by 2010 [1].

The DOE said the proposal didn’t qualify for a waiver because it had to be”economically feasible and technologically justified,” [2] Well, perhaps it would have been feasible in 2004, while the latter part could be argued… particularly in California where water is relatively scarce.

In addition, Califronia also set up tougher restrictions on formaldehyde. They claim that this will reduce incidents of cancer caused by vapors.

And then there.s solar. In this article, a correspondent from The Economist runs into the problem of too much shade from her trees. State rebates and federal tax credits are available that can cover up to half the cost of installation, and they will not raise property taxes (whew). Home builders have to offer solar options in California now. But you still need to have light.

I am somewhat concerned to the extent of which California is trying to set itself apart with restrictions that could possibly not be worth the bother, especially in other parts of the country, where resources may be cheaper and utility curves vastly different. If it costs more to have less formaldehyde in your wood to keep it together with another substance or new technology, how much would the added cost to your housing have bought you in health care?

I like requiring thought put into solar panels and think if you have trees in the way, you’re better off with them cooling your home than the panels, don’t know about the formaldehyde, and wish the market would make water-efficient washing machines feasible. Would California have a right to tax washing machines that are not of a certain water efficiency, or would they have to sue someone over that too? It would be a tax to compensate for the subsidies on the cost of water…

1. California washing wachines
2. More on the washing machine situation.
3. Califronia vs. formaldehyde.
4. California solar vs.shade.

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