[eDebate] The Whitmore Challenge - 1 down ... 7 to go
Harris, Martin C
Mon Jun 28 09:33:49 CDT 2004
The problem I have with Topic 1 is not so much the word total. Total merely defines the base standard to make a comparison against. My problem is with the word substantial. I don't think it has been very effective in years past at providing a limit. One problem with substantial is its like pornography. Most people can't define it, they merely know it when they see it. This doesn't make for a very good T standard. A second problem is it is almost always used to try to force a quantitative target, but affs can counter interp it as a qualitative standard. This is more true due to the inability of substantial to effectively set a hard numerical target. What is substantial? 1 percent, 5 percent, 20 percent? People end up looking at the effects to determine significance. Not a very brite line. Degenerates to is the action meaningful, does it lack material qualification....
If substantial is not a sufficient check then the following list of cases are all topical (anyone remember West Point's require low flush toilets in the construction of new homes case on the 1996-7 topic including substantial and decreased pollutants?). At a minimum the barrier against these cases is merely a topicality argument involving substantial, and I am not sure it is a smart move to bank your ground division on the ability to win a difficult topicality argument. Kind of throws a lot of eggs in one basket.
With exceptions to number 9, 11, 12, 13 everyone of the cases also has an advocate and literature base, so they are not your typical lame topicality examples of cases noone could ever run. They are viable affs with varying levels of problems against substantial, but otherwises legitimiate affs. My favorites are number 6 and 10.
1. Eliminate the SUV loophole requiring SUV's and Light trucks to meet the current 27.5 mpg passenger CAFE standards.
2. Raise CAFE standards progressively until 2012 to 44 mpg.
3. Require Electricity generation to derive 20% of output from renewable energy sources by 2020
4. Expand Energy Star and energy conservation standards to electronics currently not covered by Federal Law
"Energy conservation standards are a very cost-effective and powerful policy for conserving energy. By requiring a shift to more efficient technology, standards "raise the floor" for efficient use of energy. This policy tool should be broadened to include a greater number of consumer and commercial products."
5. Create a Renewable Fuel standard that would require transportation fuel to contain a minimum percentage of fuels derived from renewable sources.
6. Use Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require Utility companies to allow owners of small power systems to connect to the electricty grid and be compensated for excess power produced from renewable sources (called net metering). Only required by state commissions at some level in 30 states(By far my favorite case. Can see small farmer advantages with no discussion of the energy debate). Was Senate bill 1333 in the 107th. Renewable Energy and Efficiency Investment Act of 2001. This page seems to insinuate that it didn't pass http://www.eere.energy.gov/state_energy/policy_content.cfm?policyid=26
7. Require 20% improvement across the board in energy efficiency. PArt of S. 14, the Energy Policy Act of 2003
8. A standard requiring the use of at least 5 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2012; http://www.sustainableenergy.org/coalition/press/2002/sec_analysis_senate.PDF
9. Require greater efficiencies in Consumer Products by product. Here http://eappc76.lbl.gov/tmacal/ees.cfm is a list of some of the requirements we have in the status quo that gives samples of the breadth of regulations we have on individual products including:
A) Requiring T12 flourescent light ballasts to be equally or greater then energy efficient magnetic ballasts.
B) Energy efficency standards on home furnaces and boilers.
C) High intensity discharge lamps (torchiere lamps for example).
D) Energy efficiency standards on home water heaters.
10. REquire replacement tires to be as fuel efficient as the original tires on new vehicles (estimated savings of 5.8 billion barrels of oil over 50 years)
11. Require energy efficent lighting used in Section 8 housing developments (this one I have not seen an advocate for, but HUD is notorious for putting requirements on their housing grants)
12. Require homes to increase insulation to decreasing use of fossil fuels in heating and cooling. (Arguable a call for local and state building code changes, but backed by DOE. May not have jurisdiction federally). http://www.mwalliance.org/news/releases/2004/upgradecodemichigan.php
13. Require new homes and office buildings to have an energy audit prior to selling the building. (again not necessarily an advocate. Based of a CURRENT EU commission requirement) http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/12064/story.htm
14. Reverse the administrations decision to lower efficency standards on new air conditioners, and instead increase the standards http://www.ef.org/national/FactSheetAppliance.cfm
15. Establish efficiency standards for standby power in appliances (specifically tv's, vcr's and electronics).
16. Establish coordination between federal and state agencies to increase efficiency requirements in industrial boilers.
17. Create efficiency standards for Traffic signal modules
18. Require modifications in the process for manufacture of plastics.
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