About Me

My photo
Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee and on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Monday, June 08, 2009

HB2318 - Governor's Energy Bill

Mandating Politics

The traditional police powers of government are health, safety, welfare and morals.

This means that the state might see fit to intercede through laws by limiting your activity if there is an unseen danger in what you do that could have a significant effect on another individual; thus jeopardizing that individual's right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness in a tangible way.

For instance; health inspections have increased cleanliness, cutting down on diseases that could severely impact your health. Safety inspections ensure that unseen dangers, like in electrical wiring or gas hook-ups, are minimized. Welfare typically refers to some sort of fraud - it is why we inspect bank records. Morals normally refer to activity, perhaps that concerning drugs or alcohol.

Strangely, the state is wanting to add energy efficiency to it's police powers. HB2318 changes Tennessee code 68-120-101, the law on statewide building construction safety standards, to include energy efficiency.

It is one thing for the state to take precautions because something may seriously jeopardize your health, or safety, or all that you have worked to earn, or to keep you from being a danger to others when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but to police energy efficiency?

People already have an incentive to build energy efficient homes or to purchase energy efficient appliances - its called a utility bill.

For the state to get involved and create mandates is for the state to become involved in political decisions that favor some parts and supplies over others; certain businesses over other businesses; certain policies and political philosophies other others.

People naturally balance what they can afford with what they will save and examine the margins to see how far they want to go. Mandating politics is not good policy - and it moves us further still from freedom.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rep. Lynn,

Building standards certainly don't seem like an extension of the "police power" of the state. It's cost effective to place energy efficient features into a building when you're doing the construction. When we've got heavily subsidized nuclear and coal power in the TVA service areas, the marketplace we love so much doesn't have much of a chance to work anyway. If it did, we wouldn't be 49th per capita in energy consumption. We're all going to bear the cost of increased energy demand, and it's easier to regulate the energy we don't use. Perhaps we can start by figuring out a way to turn off the lights in your office when it's not in use. The fact that offices in the War Memorial Building don't have light switches should serve as an example of the type of building standards we have when we grew up with cheap electricity. This lack of foresight won't cut it anymore.

Representative Susan Lynn said...

Your comment actually made me chuckle. I am not sure who you've been talking to but the offices in the War Memorial Building have light switches which we use each and every time we enter and leave at the beginning and the end of the day.

Anything outside of a program that the state mandates or punishes is by the use of police powers.

Thanks so much for writing.

Representative Susan Lynn said...

Your comment actually made me chuckle. I am not sure who you've been talking to but the offices in the War Memorial Building have light switches which we use each and every time we enter and leave at the beginning and the end of the day.

Anything outside of a program that the state mandates or punishes is by the use of police powers.

Thanks so much for writing.

Anonymous said...

Rep. Lynn,


I'm glad to hear that the War Memorial offices are equipped with switches, but it looks like the offices in Legislative Plaza are not.

http://blogs.nashvillescene.com/pitw/2009/03/news_flash_a_brilliant_idea_fr.php