Inigo Montoya can only do so much

The president gave a speech earlier this week praising his administration’s regulations dictating energy-efficiency standards, its recently unveiled unprecedented onslaught of federal regulations vis-a-vis his “Clean Power Plan,” and its exorbitant menu of federal tax incentives for renewable energy.

He boasted of the success of these federal intrusions into energy markets, which, he said,

let’s be honest, has some big fossil fuel interests pretty nervous — to the point where they’re trying to fight renewable energy.

Now, it’s one thing if you’re consistent in being free market.  It’s another thing when you’re free market until it’s solar that’s working and people want to buy, and suddenly you’re not for it anymore.

What? Being “free market” is favoring government hyperregulation to compel market behavior and aggressive tax incentives trying to entice market behavior?

One can almost hear Inigo Montoya saying,

inigo1

Free market. You keep using that term.
I do not think it means what you think it means.

The president continued his diatribe,

But when you start seeing massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, or conservative think tanks, or the Koch brothers pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards [i.e., government regulations] or prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding [i.e., by having the tax incentives sunset as scheduled] — that’s a problem.  That’s not the American way.  That’s not progress.  That’s not innovation.  That’s rent seeking and trying to protect old ways of doing business and standing in the way of the future.

inigo2

Rent seeking. You keep using that term.
I do not think it means what you think it means.

And he wasn’t done:

I mean, think about this.  Ordinarily, these are groups that tout themselves as champions of the free market [sic]. If you start talking to them about providing health care for folks who don’t have health insurance, they’re going crazy — “this is socialism, this is going to destroy America.” But in this situation, they’re trying to undermine competition in the marketplace, and choke off consumer choice, and threaten an industry that’s churning out new jobs at a fast pace.

Inigo falls

I … give up.

(Which means I won’t have to continue to the part of the president’s speech where he says that “If you’re a libertarian, you should care about this.”)

 

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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