Sunday, August 5, 2007

Haste Makes Waste

Earlier this week, before the the House passed a wide-ranging energy bill, three conservative nonprofits—Americans for Tax Reform, the American Conservative Union, and FreedomWorks—e-mailed their supporters an action alert asking them to defeat the bill.

Because I place a premium on writing, I couldn't help but to fisk the first two alerts (I used to work at ACU, so I won't critique the third):

1. From ATR:

Make no mistake, H.R. 3221 will raise taxes, reduce energy supplies and make prices of fuel and appliances sky-rocket under H.R. 3221.

"Under H.R. 3221" is risibly redundant.

H.R. 3221, by restricting offshore and onshore leases for oil production on federal lands, is crippling an industry that provides 2 million jobs to hard-working Americans.

There are two points here: (1) that the bill restricts domestic drilling, and (2) that the bill will cripple the jobs-providing oil and gas industry. The first point is strictly factual, and even though I agree the restrictions are bad, ATR offers no argument as to why. The second point is similarly unsubstantiated: where's the evidence that the bill will cost Americans their jobs?

Semantically, "H.R. 3221" should be moved to after "federal lands."

And, H.R. 3221, by mandating every utility in each state to have a percentage of its electricity come from a narrowly defined list of renewable energy sources, regardless if the state possesses the resources or not, will result in nothing more than a massive excise tax on rate paying consumers in states that cannot meet this standard.

Is that a run-on sentence, or what? Here's a quick rewrite: "Finally, by mandating that most utilities must generate a percentage of their electricity from a narrowly defined, federally regulated list of sources—regardless of whether the state possesses the sources or not—H.R. 3221 will result in a massive excise tax."

If your Representative votes for H.R. 3221, they are voting for a tax increase.

"Representative" is singular, so "they are" should be "he is."

2. From FreedomWorks:

Before the Congress leaves town for its August Recess next week, they will be debating a massive energy bill that would raise the price of energy and do nothing to increase domestic production.

1. "Congress" is singular, so "they" should be "it."
2. "Recess" need not be capitalized.
3. "The Congress" is stuffy and archaic; just say "Congress."