My post today at the American Issues Project deals with a rumor I’ve seen making the e-mail and blogging rounds. It says that if you own a home and want to sell it, the Democrats’ cap-and-trade bill would require you to have your house inspected to make sure it meets a certain energy-efficiency target and, if it doesn’t make it, to bring it up to code before you sell it.
As it happens, the rumor isn’t very far from being true. It’s both not quite as bad as it could be and far worse.
What that’s saying is the state will be empowered to inspect your home if you want to 1) renovate your house in any way that requires a building permit, 2) sell your house, or 3) change the name of the person responsible for any utility bill.
By now, if you haven’t swallowed your tongue and are in need of medical attention, you’re probably wondering if there’s a penalty for not being in compliance with the new efficiency ratings. The answer is no, and yes. Here’s where the bill gets really sneaky. So far as I can tell, there is no direct penalty if your house does not meet the bill’s target. However, it does require that the number of buildings inspected by the state meet certain percentage targets and if they do not, the state loses out on a significant portion of the money it could get from Washington. In other words, the bill demands certain things from the states, but ties funding for those demands to compliance with the demands.
Did I say the bill gets sneaky? I was wrong. The bill strong-arms the states like a couple mob heavies leaning on a witness in a Rico trial. In turn, the states are going to put the screws to you, so it gets the billions of dollars Washington is dangling in front of them. So while the Federal government won’t directly punish you, it will provide the states with lots and lots of rectangular, green reasons to do so.
Please read the whole thing and be sure to leave a comment when you do!
UPDATE: The post is apparently quite popular today. it’s been linked by Michelle Malkin, Melissa Clouthier (twice!), and got its own memeorandum entry. This comes on the heels of my “green shoots” post last week bagging an Instalanche.
Meanwhile, traffic here languishes like a fact in Henry Waxman’s brain. One day, I’ll get the whole package working!
UPDATE 2: Well, that was unexpected. The post has taken off like a rocket. My editor told me earlier today that the link had been re-tweeted at least 35 times by her quick count, which seems a lot to me. A number of other bloggers have also linked there and since I can’t jam that post full of updates, I’d like to thank all of them here.