Don't mandate motors, toilets

In the July 1998 issue [Control Engineering , "More Efficiency to the Masses—of Electric Motors, That Is," p. 91] you praised legislation to raise the efficiency of motors and the EPA and DOE for pushing it. I have two thoughts relative to it. The first being that the only type of incentive that works is economic.

09/01/1998


In the July 1998 issue [ Control Engineering , "More Efficiency to the Masses—of Electric Motors, That Is," p. 91] you praised legislation to raise the efficiency of motors and the EPA and DOE for pushing it. I have two thoughts relative to it. The first being that the only type of incentive that works is economic. Government mandated programs almost always fail. A case in point is low flow toilets. There now is a black market in toilets. People are bringing conventional toilets in from Canada. The reason is simple, low flow toilets often lead to blockage in the waste lines in homes, especially older ones. When you consider that lawn watering requires much more water than toliet usage, the government edict makes no sense.

In the case of high efficiency motors, economic benefit to the owner is the only thing that makes sense. I was recently involved in a project where a high efficiency motor was required on a pump that operated, at most, 30 minutes per week. No way was the premium price for this motor economically justified. If an owner can see an economic benefit, he will use a high efficiency motor, goverment mandate or not. After all, he is in business to make money.

The second point is much more disturbing. What section of the Constitution authorizes the federal government to mandate the type of motors people may use? And don't say it's the Commerce Clause; the Supreme Court threw that argument out in the Lopez and Brady decisions. Also, what Section of the Constitution authorizes an EPA or DOE, I can't find them in Article 1, Section 8? James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, etc., must be turning over in their graves. This is only one example of why the Republic is in trouble.

Howard Last, P.E., Great Neck, N.Y.





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