Friday, October 12, 2007

Blah Blah Blah ENRON! Blah Blah

That's basically how every conversation that involves energy goes when being dicussed with a commie. Doesn't matter if we're talking about a new technology, efficiency, energy politics, or subsidies, "Enron" has been to the energy debate what "Halliburton" has been to the war debate. It's the final say, the ultimate debate ender.

Problem is, it turns out the whistle-blower is a fraud. Kudos to USA Today for forgoing, however momentarily, more stories on Brittany's vagina and getting to some real reporting.

A short history: Enron was a bunch of crooked sewer-dwellers who made lots of money manipulating the energy markets. They're out of business and people are in jail. Period. Since then, Enron has been the calling card for everybody from the anti-deregulation clowns to the anti-"clean coal" technology advocates in the Sierra Club. All of this bothers me nicht. What bothers me is Sarbanes-Oxley, which the Enron debacle created, along with Worldcom, Tyco and a clueless Congress.

SOX can be blamed for the massive outflight of IPOs to London and Hong Kong, among other nasty side-effects. It can also be partly blamed for the lack of movement of alternative energy ideas to the mainstream in this country. It's just a lot more business friendly for new upstart technologies to go where the regulatory nightmare machine can't destroy them. I am constantly reminded of this fact when I read of new alternative tech companies whose first forays into the market are almost always in Europe or the second/third world.

The same enviro groups that lauded SOX can be blamed for the massive nightmare that any car maker must endure to bring a new, high-efficiency model to market in the USA. One example of many would be Volkswagen, who have a 70 mpg diesel model that is already on the road in Europe. It will take VW many years to bring this puppy to us, all the while kicking out a fortune into the bureaucratic nightmare that is the US DOT, EPA and various other alphabet soup agencies. What? Did he just say that environmentalist have kicked their own ass so they can feel publicly righteous about the evils of the free market? Yup. That's also why I don't work with them anymore.

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