Email: "Fw: SELLING YOUR HOUSE - YOU MAY HAVE 2ND THOUGHTS"
The following email has been widely forwarded and has been reposted numerous times on conservative blogs. Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below. Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.
Fw: SELLING YOUR HOUSE - YOU MAY HAVE 2ND THOUGHTS
[note - all mistakes below are original to the text]
Sent: Friday, November 27, 2009 5:04 PM
Subject: Fwd: Fw: SELLING YOUR HOUSE - YOU MAY HAVE 2ND THOUGHTS
Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act. H.R. 2454, the "Cap & Trade" bill passed by the House of Representatives, if also passed by the Senate, will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced. The Congressional Budget Office (supposedly non-partisan) estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year. No one is excluded. However, once the lower classes feel the pinch in their wallets, you can be sure these voters get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new cost. Thus, you Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class America will have to pay even more since additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out the 40% of US citizens that already pay no Income Tax ( and of course the illegals pay no taxes but participate in welfare, SS and all give away or "Obama money" as it is called.).
But wait. This awful bill (that no one in Congress has actually read) has many more surprises in it. Probably the worst one is this: A year from now you won't be able to sell your house. Yes, you read that right. The caveat is (there always is a caveat) that if you have enough money to make required major upgrades to your home, then you can sell it. But, if not, then forget it. Even pre-fabricated homes ("mobile homes") are included. In effect, this bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator. To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured. Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be forced to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements. Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a "label" in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner. If you don't get a high enough rating, you can't sell. And, the EPA administrator is authorized to raise the standards every year, even above the automatic energy efficiency increases built into the Act. The EPA administrator, appointed by the President, will run the Cap & Trade program (AKA the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009") and is authorized to make any future changes to the regulations and standards he alone determines to be in the government's best interest. Requirements are set low initially so the bill will pass Congress; then the Administrator can set much tougher new standards every year.
The Act itself contains annual required increases in energy efficiency for private and commercial residences and buildings. However, the EPA administrator can set higher standards at any time. Sect. 202 Building Retrofit Program mandates a national retrofit program to increase the energy efficiency of all existing homes across America . Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act. You had better sell soon, because the standards will be raised each year and will be really hard (i.e., ex$pen$ive) to meet in a few years. Oh, goody! The Act allows the government to give you a grant of several thousand dollars to comply with the retrofit program requirements IF you meet certain energy efficiency levels. But, wait, the State can set additional requirements on who qualifies to receive the grants. You should expect requirements such as "can't have an income of more than $50K per year", "home selling price can't be more than $125K", or anything else to target the upper middle class (and that's YOU) and prevent them from qualifying for the grants. Most of us won't get a dime and will have to pay the entire cost of the retrofit out of our own pockets. More transfer of wealth, more "change you can believe in." Sect. 204 Building Energy Performance Labeling Program establishes a labeling program that for each individual residence will identify the achieved energy efficiency performance for "at least 90 percent of the residential market within 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act."
This means that within 5 years 90% of all residential homes in the U.S. must be measured and labeled. The EPA administrator will get $50M each year to enforce the labeling program. The Secretary of the Department of Energy will get an additional $20M each year to help enforce the labeling program. Some of this money will, of course, be spent on coming up with tougher standards each year..
Oh, the label will be like a license for your car. You will be required to post the label in a conspicuous location in your home and will not be allowed to sell your home without having this label. And, just like your car license, you will probably be required to get a new label every so often - maybe every year. But, the government estimates the cost of measuring the energy efficiency of your home should only cost about $200 each time. Remember what they said about the auto smog inspections when they first started: that in California it would only cost $15. That was when the program started. Now the cost is about $50 for the inspection and certificate; a 333% increase.. Expect the same from the home labeling program. Sect. 304 Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes establishes new energy efficiency guidelines for the National Building Code and mandates at 304(d) that 1 year after enactment of this Act, all state and local jurisdictions must adopt the National Building Code energy efficiency provisions or must obtain a certification from the federal government that their state and/or local codes have been brought into full compliance with the National Building Code energy efficiency standards.
It's completely understandable that this email would scare you - this stuff is insane.
Insane, but totally wrong. For one thing, that link at the end just goes to a Google search. It doesn't mean anything.
First, FactCheck.org (independent and nonpartisan) says the bill doesn't apply to existing homes:
It's true that the bill sets new national efficiency standards for new residential and commercial buildings. It calls for buildings to be 30 percent more efficient by 2012, and 50 percent more efficient beginning in 2014. It ultimately calls for buildings to be 75 percent more efficient by 2029. But those efficiency benchmarks apply only to homes constructed after the bill becomes law, not currently existing ones.
We found no requirement for energy audits or energy-efficiency inspections in the bill, either...
Owners of existing homes would be able to get energy audits if they wish, and if they volunteer for programs established by the bill, such as the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program. That program would provide federal funds to states to encourage homeowners to reduce energy consumption. According to the bill, the purpose of REEP is to "facilitate the retrofitting of existing buildings across the United States to achieve maximum cost-effective energy efficiency improvements and significant improvements in water use and other environmental attributes." But facilitating energy efficiency improvements is not the same thing as requiring them.
If you have some time, I'd recommend you read the rest of their post here: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/07/energy-bill-and-existing-homes/
I found another site called PolitiFact.com that has a "truth-o-meter" rating system, and their rating for this email is "Pants On Fire"!!! (Don't worry, they go after Democrats as well as Republicans)
Their fact check says:
Here's how cap-and-trade would work. Under House legislation, the target of the chain e-mail's criticism, the government would be required to set an overall cap on carbon emissions in an effort to slow climate change. More specifically, the bill aims to lower carbon pollution by 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. Companies would either upgrade to cleaner technologies or buy credits -- also known as allowances -- to continue polluting. Initially, most allowances would be given out free. But eventually companies would have to buy those permits from the government...
Section 204 would require the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a model program that states could voluntarily adopt to label new buildings for their energy performance. This "license," as the chain e-mail calls it, is only applicable to new construction and would be completely voluntary.
In fact, that's a point the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the panel that has jurisdiction over the cap-and-trade bill, makes over and over in its summary of the legislation: "Nothing would require a homeowner to audit or retrofit their home to ensure that it meets building code requirements," the document says...
There's nothing in the bill that would require homeowners to retrofit their homes to meet new efficiency standards or get a government "license" before putting their home on the market. Homeowners who do want to retrofit their homes can do so voluntarily and with the help of government funding. This chain e-mail gets a Pants on Fire!
The post has some additional information about the cap-and-trade bill if you're interested: http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/nov/23/chain-email/chain-e-mail-claims-cap-and-trade-will-require-hom/
I hope this clears things up a bit.
Talk to you soon!
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