Governmental environmental tax soon to be up your…

From Planet Gore, this has to be the poop de grace of bureaucratic achievement in the climate and ecology category.

Not a Square to Spare [Chris Horner]

toilet_paper_terrorWhere are the Beatles when you need them? Someone inside EPA has brought to my attention how Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer has proposed legislation calling on a federal agency to define toilet paper.

Really. It says it right in the bill, the “Water Resources Protection Act” (I know, I know — you were expecting it to be called the Protecting Infrastructure and Sewer Systems Act):

‘‘SEC. 4172. DEFINITIONS AND SPECIAL RULE.

‘(b) WATER DISPOSAL PRODUCT. — For purposes of this subchapter —

(4) TOILET TISSUE. — The term ‘toilet tissue’ means toilet tissue, as determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary.”

No, it’s not as silly as it sounds. It’s sillier.

The rulemaking to define what rises to the level of a bottom-wipe is in the name of a good cause: to tax the stuff. The current band of feds don’t think you’ve paid enough tax — this has been established ad nauseum — and now want a dedicated revenue, er, stream, to pay to replace corroded pipes and overburdened sewer sytems nationwide.

We know what else is involved in the confines of the rest room so, naturally, there’s a “climate change mitigation” section as well though, upon initial scrutiny, it isn’t as invasive as the context indicates should be the case.

It actually gets even more inane: in addition to adding a “3% excise tax on items disposed of in wastewater, such as toothpaste, cosmetics, toilet paper and cooking oil [because these] products wind up in the water stream and require clean up by sewage treatment plants,” according to Blumenauer’s Fact Sheet, water-based beverages, which actually hit the infrastructure both coming and, ah, going (as anyone who’s ever stood in line at a sporting event knows). So, those are hit with a four-cent per-container excise tax. Feeling flush yet?

This is a nice addendum to the dossier that, I believe, we will look back on as having been rolled up by a congressional majority (and indeed, entire political class) that soon found itself circling the drain.

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148 thoughts on “Governmental environmental tax soon to be up your…

  1. Well, They are going to have to get the trillion dollars somewhere… I know a guy that only uses one sheet per wipe. Never tried it myself.

  2. My word, “The Bottom Inspectors” cartoon sketch from VIZ (A UK comic) realized.

  3. He’s one of our filberts (Congress people) over in the left part of the state. Never trust anyone who wears a bowtie and he does. Probably been spending too much time with Cheryl Crowe who also claimed that lesser (TP that is) was better.
    Got to go now and shout out my window, “I’m mad as hell and……”

  4. 1. many rural folks have septic systems: Do we get and exemption card?
    2. cooking oil: 99% of ours is consumed or goes to a land fill – How do I prove this?
    3. Does Blumenauer not know that we already pay taxes, some in different ways than others, but anyone suggesting a ‘stealth’ tax, as this would be, is apt to get a burning bag of ‘doo’ on his front step and repeated ringing of the doorbell in the middle of the night.

  5. You see, we are infested with a class of idiots who think that if you use less toilet paper, you “save” trees. This same class of idiot believes that recycling paper somehow “saves” trees when in both cases the opposite is actually true.
    Trees grown for paper are farmed like any other crop. Natural forest is not cut for paper production anymore. The largest planters of trees on the planet are the paper companies (followed by the lumber companies). These trees are designed to grow quickly and produce usable fiber for paper in well under a decade, some a short as 5 years after planting.
    If the need for new pulp is reduced, paper companies will not need to plant these trees nor hold those land holdings on which those trees grow. The result is that once the last cutting is made, they sell off the land to such people as developers.
    Recycling paper results in fewer trees being planted and less CO2 being removed from the atmosphere.
    Additionally, this class of idiot believes that “old growth forest” is some kind of an oxygen producer and removes CO2 from the atmosphere. The truth is that a fully mature forest is carbon neutral, it neither removes nor adds CO2 to the atmosphere. When a forest is young such as after a fire or clear cut, it is building biomass and is a net carbon sink. As it matures, the net biomass added reduces as leaves, twigs, branches break or die or otherwise fall off and begin to decay. As this decay progresses, it releases the CO2 back into the atmosphere that was taken out to produce that biomass. When a forest reaches full maturity, it is no longer adding net biomass. It reaches stability. As much biomass is dying and decaying as is being added through growth. If a fire comes along, most of that biomass will be converted to CO2 (save what is converted to more stable charcoal). If a clear cut is made, that carbon is sequestered though use in building materials where it might be prevented from decaying for decades or possibly turned into something that gets thrown into a landfill and kept out of the atmosphere for centuries.
    Reducing the use of toilet paper and recycling paper serve to reduce the number of trees planted, increase the amount of land available to developers, and reduce the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. If you are really ardent about recycling and enough others follow your example, you might “save” enough trees to build a Wal-Mart on what used to be a plot growing trees to grow paper.

  6. Roger that Carl Yee. He’s one of the Blue Islanders that control the Red Sea of Oreogn…
    Blumenauer is a bloomin’ idjit…

  7. ” kyled (21:14:33) :
    “I think that it may be a smell health problem if we stop wiping our bottoms”
    Agreed. You’ve obviously got a nose for this work.

  8. Oh, and in a budget compromise reached this evening in the California Legislature, offshore drilling will be allowed off the coast of Vandenberg AFB. I believe I can hear the sound of heads exploding in San Francisco.

  9. Thank goodness I’m in another land. This kind of legislation should give all you yanks that “ring of confidence” in your administrators.
    I suppose they always say **it rises to the top!
    Reply: You’re not immune to this kind of thing over there either. ~ ctm

  10. What did the Native Americans use? Well, there is this huge creekside plant we call “Elephant Ears”. Going green, Earl?
    Let’s all give a shout out to Rep. Earl Blumenauer by sending him a box of the green alternative. Who know, it might sit well with him.

  11. Umm…don’t you already pay for sewer treatment…you know when you pay your sewer bill to the sewer utility…

  12. “joshua corning (22:39:58) :
    Umm…don’t you already pay for sewer treatment…you know when you pay your sewer bill to the sewer utility…”
    I many countries you pay for water and water waste too, and usually some form of GST or VAT (Tax) on top of the “services” you’ve paid for.
    An Orwellian phrase springs to mind, “Double plus ungood!”. Politicians double and tripple dipping in our pockets.

  13. At least these are consumption taxes, not income taxes, and furthermore they are on some level endeavoring to incorporate the full cost of things into the price.
    This should, of course, be accompanied by a corresponding drop in income tax.
    Likely?
    No.

  14. In the third world, weher no one knows what TP is, they use their left hand for wiping, and their right hand for eating. That’s why being caught as a thief they cut off your right hand, leaving you, umm, in a predicament.

  15. DocWat (21:18:57) :
    Well, They are going to have to get the trillion dollars somewhere… I know a guy that only uses one sheet per wipe. Never tried it myself.

    I sure hope you never shake his hand, or eat anything prepared by him… he SAYS he uses one sheet, but do you know for sure? I don’t think it’s possible.

  16. Earl, Earl, Earl. I’ve got a much better idea, tax the source of all our bowel movements, food! Yes food is the culprit. Here are a few ideas, feel free to use them as your see fit.
    1. Tax the producers of food. (farmers are evil)
    2. Tax the sellers of food. ( they are no better then drug dealers)
    3. Tax the buyers of food. ( bastards)
    4. Tax anybody who casts a vote. (cause don’t you know your days are numbered)

  17. It’s like the conundrum in the original Star Trek series – you have all these Klingons circling Uranus – what do you do?

  18. As far as I can tell, I pour no cooking oil down the drain. Mostly I use it for popping popcorn and it is absorbed and eaten. And when I bake cakes I use about a quarter cup of cooking oil. All but a few drops that grease the pan are consumed.

  19. I once had an idea about a band that went around the body and counted expansions and contractions due to respiration. Each breath you take can then be counted taxed. And that makes perfect sense because then those who use the most air can pay more than those who conserve. The tax would then go to help mitigate air pollution with those who use the most air paying the most to clean it up.
    Of course, that was right after my idea of having prisoners spend their day pedaling generators where their power generation would be metered and used to calculate their food ration for the day.
    Then I saw this article about some place in China that was stuffing dumplings with cardboard and I got another idea …
    *sigh* … it’s so weird to be me …

  20. Re:
    You’re not immune to this kind of thing over there either. ~ ctm
    Thank goodness I’m not over “there” either! Although we do have out own share of idiots in Australia. (We actually have a triumvirate of AGW lemmings in Aus, Kevin Rudd, our PM who things he’s a global diplomat because he speaks Mandarin and sucks up to Barack. Penny Wong the Climate change minister who is as deadpan as a dead fish and the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett (who actually had a point of view when he was a rock musician with “Midnight Oil” but who has had to sell his soul and views when he joined the Labor Party.)
    At least we have the chance of getting rid of them within 18 months by the next election, unlike you poor saps in the States who are stuck with BO for 3 1/2 years.
    However, back to the thread, “Try Gumleaves- the ultimate green toilet paper”.

  21. Wait a minute. The whole reason we have water meters is to pay for sewage treatment. Why don’t they just raise the water rate if they need more for treatment instead of taxing EVERYTHING that MIGHT get flushed?
    It seems they can increase a tax already in place (water rates) rather than creating a phone book size book of regulations in order to tax additional stuff.
    Is it required to have your brain deactivated to be a Democrat?

  22. There is a nice lady called Sheryl
    Who uses only one square at her peril
    Says the lovely Ms Crow
    “When you do gotta go”
    “You just try to keep everything sterile”

  23. Cut newspaper into suitably sized squares, punch hole in corner of squares, put string through hole, tie ends of string, hang from nail on wall. Better than back in my youth because the newsprint doesn’t come off these days. The tax on newspapers will now rocket.

  24. Crap and trade? Are visits to the John to be rationed? Should we tax the input or the output?

  25. ‘and now want a dedicated revenue, er, stream, to pay to replace corroded pipes and overburdened sewer sytems nationwide.’
    This is government’s trickle down economics at its fineness.
    Feds collects the tax, takes its cut and allocate funds to certain states (depending on who is in power), states takes its cut and allocate to certain local municipality (depending on who is in power), municipality takes it cut and award contract to a certain local business (depending on who is in power) and has paid into the “pay to play” fund (bribes).
    We, central Ohio, just had water and sewer rate increase approved. The reason, Columbus Water Board stated, kid you not, “WE ARE NOT SELLING ENOUGH WATER”.

  26. Trevor (22:23:23) : reply:
    Reply: You’re not immune to this kind of thing over there either. ~ ctm

    A more balanced report:
    http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=14544
    In this case, the local authority had issued a first warning in July 2007 before contacting Mr Corkhill to discuss how he might reduce the amount of waste produced by his family.
    Following further instances of overfilling the bin, the council issued a fixed penalty notice in January of this year.
    Two weeks later, the council again wrote to Mr Corkhill giving him the opportunity to pay the fine and avoid a court appearance but he chose not to pay at that time.
    “The council gave the resident a number of opportunities to avoid a criminal record, both before and after issuing the fine,” said a statement issued by Copeland Borough Council.
    But who is in the right?
    http://www.greenbuildingpress.co.uk/article.php?article_id=273
    During the month of May 2006, the number of single-use carrier bags used by retailers participating in the agreement was 870 million. This figure fell to 450 million in May 2009 – a total reduction of 420 million. If the level of usage continued for a year this would be equivalent to an annual consumption of 5.6 billion single use bags, compared to 10.7 billion in 2006¹.
    http://www.defra.gov.uk/Environment/waste/topics/plastics.htm
    In 2001 there were 1,678,900 tonnes of plastic packaging in the waste stream, an increase from 1,600,000 in 2000. In 2008 consumers used around 10 billion carrier bags.

    • Not more balanced Bill. Every article you chose assumes there is a need for waste minimization and there is a justification for the government mandate of enforcement.

  27. It’s not funny. In Australia we use toilet paper at over 1,200 miles per hour. That is nearly twice the speed of sound at C-level. Multiply by about 20 to get USA equivalent, then add 10% for gratuitous insult re excessive USA consumption assumption. If you have the right model, you could calculate the population of the USA when toilet paper manufacture equals the escape velocity from the earth.
    Can someone help me find the right model?

  28. DocWat (21:18:57) : “… I know a guy that only uses one sheet per wipe. Never tried it myself.”
    What was the problem. Would the guy not let you?

  29. jeez (02:06:26) :
    Every article you chose assumes there is a need for waste minimization and there is a justification for the government mandate of enforcement.

    People want an easy life and not have to pay for it. The UK is small – rubbish is disposed of in landfill. Suitable sites are in short supply. Joe Bloggs gets his plastic carrier to hold his plasic wrapped apples in a plastic tray to carry 100metres to his car and 10 metres from car to house. Is this sensible? Joe Bloggs finds it convenient and perhaps thinks no more of it. But someone has to pay to collect his bins and dispose of their contents. Why should I pay for his excesses?
    You are suggesting that there is no need for waste minimisation and it is for this reason that Government legislation is required – Joe Bloggs is selfish and will not look to the future. He needs to be helped to understand resource management.

  30. Many different strands can be traced back to the same source – EPA.
    I wonder if it was just a coincidence or whether there is a hidden warning in the Simpson’s movie. As you probably recall, epa was portrayed as a sinister organization with power over life and death.
    Prescient?

  31. jeez (02:39:45)
    All I was pointing out was that the man fined £200 :
    1 was warned months prior to the event that he was overfilling his bin
    2 was offered help in reduction of waste
    3 continued to overfill (which is the reason the lid would not shut)
    4 chose not to pay £100 on the spot fine
    5 chose not to go to court and so got a further £100 fine and criminal conviction
    The piece you cite simply says man gets fined £200 and criminal conviction for leaving his bin lid open 3 inches. Which is not the whole story!
    However I like this quote from the article “The rubbish fairy is dead.”

  32. You could avoid the roll tax by using the Ancient Roman method – a sponge on a stick – and they were very good at plumbing.
    Our UK Prime Minister also seems to imagine (I won’t use the word ‘think’) that if he could control (and tax) every bowel movement in the world, we would have an ideal society (Well his name is ‘Brown’).

  33. ” The UK is small – rubbish is disposed of in landfill. Suitable sites are in short supply.”
    Er, no.
    We use millions of tons of gravel, aggregates, sand etc. from quarries each year. We used to then use them as landfill. The EU banned that (or prohibitively taxed it) so we have a lot of holes in the UK waiting for filling. We also have hangars full of rubbish awaiting ‘export for recycling’.
    Fluffy bunny eco-nonsense has seriously screwed up waste management in the EU, but it isn’t on-message so it hasn’t been noticed yet.

  34. You know maybe I have hit on something. Maybe the proposed law has nothing to do with toilet tissue. Maybe this is a back door newspaper bail out. (Jeeze did I make a pun there? Intended? You decide.)

  35. Well then, here’s a ‘time and paper’ saver: Instead of tossing all those corn husks, why we should just eat a few before and immediately after each meal.
    .
    That way the ‘load’ is ‘self-contained’ and the matter of ‘wiping’ is automatically accomplished.
    .
    I wonder if I might patent that idea …
    .
    :o)
    .

  36. M. Simon (03:08:39) :
    “The answer to this? Use Newspaper for its intended purpose. It is not just for bird cages any more.”
    Given current standards of journalism in the MSM papers, I would be worried about getting an infection.

  37. “Robert Wood (01:42:05) :
    Why not tax food, we all know where that ends up.”
    I some countries it already is taxed. In NZ, for instance, food is taxed, a 12.5% GST on everything, all goods, all products, all services. In the UK there is a VAT of 17.5% (I think that may have been dropped to 15% recently) on say cooked chicken and a 10% GST in Australia too on a similar item. In the UK and Australia cooked food will attract a tax (Value Added Tax – UK) because of the vaule added (Cooking).
    But wait, there’s more! The EU already lables food items with their carbon foot print, Australia is planning to do the same. Of course, we will still have choice, of course we will. We’ll have Govn’t approved and non-approved. You will pay for the approved item, and so much more (Need to earn as much as Al Gore to pay for it) for the non-approved item.

  38. “bill (02:28:46) :
    People want an easy life and not have to pay for it.”
    So tax on toilet paper is the way to solve this?
    “The UK is small – rubbish is disposed of in landfill. Suitable sites are in short supply.”
    As already pointed out, that’s not really true. Also, just FYI, the entire population of the world could stand on the Isle of Wight.
    “Joe Bloggs finds it convenient and perhaps thinks no more of it. But someone has to pay to collect his bins and dispose of their contents.”
    In the UK there is something called the council tax (The Poll Tax under Thatcher failed and with good reason) so the council receives taxes/rates depended on the property and number of people living there. So the household actually aready does pay for local authorities to collect refuse. Tenants have this running expense included in their rents.
    “Why should I pay for his excesses?”
    Well, you don’t actually. But we will be very soon, even me, and I don’t live anywhere near you or the person in the articles.

  39. Ah but no word on how to handle all the drugs getting into the water supply via the treatment plants dumping off the coasts and into the rivers.

  40. This brings to mind two things
    1) the Movie Demolition Man where Sly Stallone can’t work out what to do with the two shells
    2) This quote from the Hitch hiker’s guide to the Galaxy which details why, on the planet of Bethselamin it is “vitally important to get a receipt” every time you go to the toilet.
    How long before you have to do that to prove you’ve paid the “Carbon tax” for your “Deposit” on Earth?

  41. sad to say Blumenauer is my rep. We call him the bloomin idiot and blue manure.
    He is a big time bike advocate that just happens to drive a SUV.
    I took the pictures:
    http://www.portlandfacts.com/Earl/EarlInSUV.htm
    I also took a video of Jim Hansen at OSU last week. He wasn’t even able to present evidence that CO2 caused warming – just the climate models don’t work without CO2 garbage. You can download the DVD from:
    http://www.climatedvd.com/DownloadVideos.htm

  42. The answer to this conundrum is so obvious and simple I can’t believe no one has thought of it…
    The government must outlaw private sales of TP, then require owners of commodes, to purchase TPMeters supplied and approved by both congress and hollywood. The TPMeters will be operated by use of the PCID card, which every citizen of the world must carry at all times. These meters will be kept stocked by the Green workers…
    Thus, since they will be tied into the grid, taxes, fines and punishments will be swift and severe…
    What could be simpler?
    Mike the Plumber

  43. Do toilet rolls roll down stairs that way? In fact, can they roll that way?
    The toilet roll in the cartoon will be counter-rotating as the paper spools off its top surface, and this will act as a brake to stop it rolling. It’s only if the paper feeds out from its bottom surface that there will be no counter-rotation, and no braking, and the toilet roll will accelerate. One way you get negative feedback, and the other way you get positive feedback.
    I’ve just tried to a get a toilet roll to roll in the way shown in the cartoon, and it just either stopped dead, or it flipped over and then accelerated downstairs.
    I think the physics of the cartoon is wrong. But maybe that’s the subtle point that it’s trying to make?

  44. Sandy: Hear hear, but also:
    The UK government has stated we’re running out of suitable land-fill sites. This is because the government introduced legislation that made site owners, who had not had problems in decades, have tests done on their sites to prove that they didn’t harm the environment. These tests typically cost £150,000 per site. Most sites are relatively small businesses operating in disused quarries and on steep land not suitable for anything else and they couldn’t afford that kind of money, so many of them shut up shop. Now we have a waste problem. You couldn’t make it up, could you?

  45. At the risk of being a bit anal, the roll in the cartoon is the wrong way round for viable down-step travel.

  46. Found it – HR 3202. Here’s a interesting couple paragraphs :
    “SEC. 4171. IMPOSITION OF TAX.
    `(a) Water-based Beverage- There is hereby imposed on the sale of any container of water-based beverage by the manufacturer, producer, or importer thereof a tax equal to 4 cents per container of such beverage which is 5 gallons or less. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the manufacturer or producer is the entity that puts the beverage into the container subject to the tax under such sentence.
    `(b) Water Disposal Product- There is hereby imposed on the sale of any water disposal product by the manufacturer, producer, or importer thereof a tax equal to 3 percent of the price for which so sold.
    `(c) Pharmaceutical Tax- There is hereby imposed on the sale of any pharmaceutical product by the manufacturer, producer, or importer thereof a tax equal to 0.5 percent of the price for which so sold.
    `(d) Termination- The taxes imposed by this section shall not apply to any production, manufacture, or importation after December 31, 2015. ”
    `SEC. 4172. DEFINITIONS AND SPECIAL RULE.
    `(a) Water-based Beverage- For purposes of this subchapter–
    `(1) WATER-BASED BEVERAGE- The term `water-based beverage’ means any beverage which is–
    `(A) water, or
    `(B) created by mixing water with other liquids, flavorings, vitamins, or other ingredients where the resulting product is at least 50 percent water by weight.

  47. Oh you naughty boys & girls, you really are quite cruel!
    You’re next!
    Watch out for this dodge. Many moons ago when the taxpayer owned the UK utilites after WWII, we paid Rates on their homes, a tax paid to local councils to pay for these things. Then, the powers that be decided to separate the “Water” rate, from the total rate, giving the Water utilities a degree of autonomy. Curiously though, the basic rates didn’t go down without this element but stayed the same. So the overall taxes went up covering a raft of increases! Scower the news papers fellas, watch for the hidden changes (& charges)!

  48. What a Government gives, it can take back again! Plus a little more.
    So your are taxed for crapping, breathing, sweating, reproducing, working, driving, parking, flying, sailing, heating, cooling, consuming, disposing, burning, spending, saving, owning, insuring, praying, greening, living and dying.
    And it never stops.

  49. Son of Mulder (01:32:26) :
    “Cut newspaper into suitably sized squares, punch hole in corner of squares, put string through hole, tie ends of string, hang from nail on wall. Better than back in my youth because the newsprint doesn’t come off these days. The tax on newspapers will now rocket.”
    Who knows it might even help save all those newspapers from going broke.

  50. I think this will all come down to some government program on carbon limits to individuals – say (C)arbon (R)enewal (A)merican (P)rogram.
    You will be allowed 300 craps per month. TP accounts for 40 craps, hamburgers 20 craps, driving to work 15 craps. So, in the end you will have to decide say, whether you want to go to work or use TP. I suppose that could be considered a good thing, because your fellow co-workers probably don’t want you at work if you didn’t use TP.

  51. How to wipe with one sheet:
    1. Fold your single sheet in half.
    2. Carefully, with your fingertips, tear a fingertip sized circle from the sheet, right at the center of the fold.
    3. Unfold your sheet, and behold, a square sheet with a fingertip sized hole in the center. Save the tiny circular piece you tore off.
    4. Drop said single sheet over your index finger of the hand you care the least about.
    5. With a circular motion, do your business with the doomed index finger.
    6. With the other hand, Grasp the base of your finger below the sheet, collapsing the sheet about your finger, and while applying pressure for a squeegee effect, slip the paper back off said finger and discard.
    7. Use the tiny circular piece to clean under your fingernail.
    8. Quit whining, Angelina says she doesn’t use any paper at all. 🙂

  52. It sounds more like every day that the eco-masters intend to hold the world hostage. At least that portion that will listen to them.
    All they are going to succeed in doing is ripping apart the fabric of society that has led them to this level of civilization.
    Not a word is heard about problem solving.
    It’s all about making life miserable and costly.
    Our politicians are tired of living.
    Of course, they are exempt from the Flattulence Taxes and Tissue Taxes.
    After all, the only thing they pass in the halls of Legislature is hot air, and the only thing produced are endless copies of paper better used elsewhere.
    Pick up a newspaper from 150 years ago and read the popular concensus of how politicians were viewed.

  53. … water-based beverages,

    Maybe its me. Maybe I’m an idiot. Perhaps I’m overlooking the obvious.
    I’ve spent the last half hour trying to think of a beverage that isn’t water based. Does anybody have any examples of one?

  54. “was offered help in reduction of waste”
    Oh the injustice! He was even offered re-education and a personal green indoctrination! What more can you people want?!?

  55. Crosspatch – why not raise water rates? Seriously, because water rates and water taxes are all under local control. This plan is angling at a federal excise tax which will have no responsiveness to local voters at all.
    It’s also incredibly regressive, which is supposed to be anathema to all good progressives.

  56. oh for the old day of snail mail and the sears catalogue.
    Son of Mulder (01:32:26) :
    Cut newspaper into suitably sized squares, punch hole in corner of squares, put string through hole, tie ends of string, hang from nail on wall. Better than back in my youth

  57. Oregon voters need to take special note of Blumenauer; let him know how stupid he sounds, and that he is on his way out if he does not develop some brains.

  58. crosspatch, i don’t think your weird. I’ve been working on an idea you would love – a toilet paper handle. I call it Tissue Le Gripper.
    Think about it (i did, now how weird is that) at least 90% of the “tissue” you pull from the roll is used to “grip” the small surface portion that does – the job? If everyone used a TLG…… Hmmm, maybe we could lobby congress to pass a law saying everyone MUST use a “Tissue Le Gripper”!!
    I can see it now, penalties for failure to use….. courses in schools on reasons to use and HOW to use…. instruction films that run before the feature film at every theater….. of course we’d have to have cameras in ALL bathrooms…… WE MUST SAVE THE PLANIT! And we’d be billionaires! We’ll have so much money we could use it to wipe…….
    BTW, can you think of where i was when i thought of this idea……?

  59. For those advocating a green solution: I was at Cubi Point officer’s club 20-some years ago having lunch with some aviators who had recently finished jungle survival training. One of their classmates had gone into the jungle for his daily constitutional with a handful of what he believed were “toilet-paper leaves.” Turns out that they were the Filipino equivalent of poison-ivy leaves. The officer had to be medevac’d out of the jungle — further evidence that green alternatives can be a pain in the ass.

  60. M. Simon (03:08:39) :
    The answer to this? Use Newspaper for its intended purpose. It is not just for bird cages any more.
    Indeed. It certainly isn’t worth reading.

  61. I have a, ah, condition which requires the use of much tissue-I find this to be offensive and discriminatory.

  62. >We, central Ohio, just had water and sewer rate increase approved.
    >The reason, Columbus Water Board stated, kid you not, “WE ARE
    >NOT SELLING ENOUGH WATER”.
    Heh. I’ve been wondering when we might start hearing that.
    Is anyone hearing yet from their electric utility that they’re not selling enough electricity?

  63. TerryS – anything over 100 proof (50%+ alcohol) wouldn’t fall under that definition.
    local, state, and federal levels of government have had monies designated for infrastructure maintainance. Infrastructure gets neglected anyway because spending on it doesn’t benefit politicians enough. I predict that will not change, no matter what new taxes are instituted. This is just a grab for power.

  64. This is all just a creative way to raise revenue. One of the requirements of being a lawmaker is to find new ways to collect taxes. Many people a decade or so ago warned that AGW and Enviormentalism will morph primairily into massive tax increases. Paraphrasing Clausewitz – Enviormentalism is taxation by other means.

  65. Love the cartoon – however my enjoyment of it is dimished because of a fundamental physical error – the cartoonist has got the roll upside-down – the roll – from the viewer’s viewpoint – is rotating clockwise as it bounces down the stairs, and so the paper could NOT be coming off the roll.

  66. “The answer to this? Use Newspaper for its intended purpose. It is not just for bird cages any more.”
    What is a newspaper? Isn’t it one of those giant paper books that old people read?
    I’d use my KINDLE but its a little hard to clean that off of it….

  67. rbateman,
    To offer a clarification of what you said:
    “Our politicians are tired of living.”
    No, I believe the clear way to state this is,
    “Our politicians are tired of our living.”
    The politicians and their pals intend to live very well.

  68. I have a few kinds of green leaves I can send to him. Plus some aloe vera plant to relieve the itch and sting.

  69. Other than DC, what sewer do the Feds operate? Is there really a need for a federal tax on TP?

  70. I wonder if Rajendra Pachauri has weighed in on this? It could be in direct opposition to his desire for westerners to eat less meat. 🙂

  71. Although I live in Fairfax Virginia, my home is on well and septic. I wonder if the Honorable Blumenauer will permit me an exemption from the tax, or, will my repairs and septic clean-out now be paid in full by the government?
    As far as cooking oil going down the drain, Blumenauer must be a renter who calls building maintenance when he has a stopped up drain. Because, as any home owner knows, dumping fats and oils down your drain is a good way to get a clog.
    Oh, and wouldn’t an extra tax on feminine hygiene products be a gender specific tax? Has anyone asked NOW their opinion on this?

  72. DaveF (04:23:51) :
    This is because the government introduced legislation that made site owners, who had not had problems in decades, have tests done on their sites to prove that they didn’t harm the environment. These tests typically cost £150,000 per site. …operating in disused quarries and on steep land not suitable for anything else and they couldn’t afford that kind of money, so many of them shut up shop. Now we have a waste problem.

    So you would like to go back to the era of uncontrolled dumping:
    Love canal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Canal
    In the words of a state health commissioner, “Among its legacies, Love Canal will likely long endure as a ‘national symbol of a failure to exercise a sense of concern for future generations.”[1] It was indeed a situation where the inhabitants of Love Canal “overflowed into the wastes instead of the other way around.
    Minamata
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamata_disease
    It was caused by the release of methyl mercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation’s chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968.
    Perth
    http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,25791308-2761,00.html
    RUSTED drums of hazardous waste have been found illegally dumped and leaking at six inner-Perth sites, with some left on the banks of the Swan River.
    Staten Island
    http://www.earthjustice.org/news/press/2008/staten-islanders-sue-for-toxic-waste-dump-cleanup.html
    Between 1974 and 1980, tens of thousands of gallons of toxic industrial waste were dumped illegally at the landfill, intended only for municipal solid waste. It was one of five city landfills involved in a 1982 federal investigation into illegal dumping which sent a city Department of Sanitation official and a hauling operator to prison.
    etc

  73. pkatt says,
    Ah but no word on how to handle all the drugs getting into the water supply via the treatment plants dumping off the coasts and into the rivers.
    Tax the drugs at 10X their cost.

  74. Chris (22:55:17) :
    At least these are consumption taxes, not income taxes

    Actually, mathematically these taxes are expressed as:
    Consumption – removal of usable molecular constituents = net taxable mass. So it’s a capital gain(loss). You’re getting taxed on the value of the investment after a certain period of time.

  75. “Crosspatch – why not raise water rates? Seriously, because water rates and water taxes are all under local control. This plan is angling at a federal excise tax which will have no responsiveness to local voters at all.”
    Waste water treatment is provided locally, not by the federal government. So why would the federal government need money to provide waste treatment?

  76. Bill:
    The sites I was referring to were in the UK and were licensed for domestic waste and builders’ waste, and were not uncontrolled or licensed for hazardous or medical waste. I am not defending fly-tipping. The new tests that the government introduced were to do with possible contamination of water supplies on sites which had been operating without any problems in that area for thirty years or more. The implication is that the government wanted to pretend that there weren’t enough sites so as to enforce recycling and incineration of waste in order to obey a European Union Directive, which had as much genuine reasoning behind it as the one which forces us to buy compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
    I think the examples you have given are in America and I can’t comment on those.

  77. This is soooo not a science based blog. How can you claim that this is science based blog when all you do is bash Democrats? You whine about “agendas” from the weatherunderground and then you post things like this? HA HA HA
    Attention K-Mart shoppers, pot calling kettle black on isle 4!
    [REPLY – Plenty of GOP dudes get bashed here, too. It all depends on their positions. ~ Evan]

  78. Crosspatch
    “When a forest reaches full maturity, it is no longer adding net biomass. It reaches stability. As much biomass is dying and decaying as is being added through growth”
    I grew up near the Fortingall Yew, and wondered if what you say is actually factual.
    This tree must have increased in mass up until human intervention in the 18th century.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortingall_Yew

  79. @Son of Mulder (01:32:26) :
    Cut newspaper into suitably sized squares, punch hole in corner of squares, put string through hole, tie ends of string, hang from nail on wall. Better than back in my youth because the newsprint doesn’t come off these days. The tax on newspapers will now rocket.
    That’ll produce a more satisfying wipe if one of the faces of these idiots is on the page you are using.

  80. TerryS (05:41:29) :
    I’ve spent the last half hour trying to think of a beverage that isn’t water based. Does anybody have any examples of one?

    My old reliable laboratory cocktail:
    1. Punctilious ethanol (HPLC grade 99.9% pure)
    Add the following, if needed :
    2. Ascorbic Acid
    3. Fructose (dissolves better)

  81. Well, I guess it’s back to using your “Left Hand” for wiping…That is why it’s the Custom to shake with your Right Hand and not your Left! 🙂 Wipe with you left and save a few million trees…LOL! Wow, as if trees don’t grow back!

  82. Use a sponge, and then clean it by pouring water over it.
    Problem solved.
    And it is more convenient for hairy people.

  83. Power Grab (06:46:20) :

    Is anyone hearing yet from their electric utility that they’re not selling enough electricity?

    Oncor here in Tejas is proposing a rate hike for residential customers of 17% … WUWT with regard to ‘not selling enough’ … (currently non-contract rates here are about US 13.5 c/kWH)
    .
    .
    .

  84. Has anyone besides me bothered to contact their congresscritter about this? I’m getting more than a little sick and tired of the unending stream of creative legislation specifically designed to tax me into the poorhouse, and thus make me TOTALLY dependent on the Federal Government for everything.

  85. bill (08:43:07) :
    So you would like to go back to the era of uncontrolled dumping:
    Love canal

    Great Bill; A lot like fire*rms: outlaw dumping and only outlaws will be dumping (and you won’t have ANY idea of what is being put where and CLEAN-UP will be an absolute NIGHTMARE …)
    Better to have SOME plan for dumps versus the alternative of ‘opportunistic dumping’ in the dead of night by companies and individuals alike desparate to get rid of stuff.
    .
    .
    .

  86. We should take bets on the date a law goes into effect requiring sensors on America’s toilet bowls to measure, record and automatically report the mass of objects (both liquid and solid) placed in it.

  87. “This tree must have increased in mass up until human intervention in the 18th century.”
    I was speaking of the entire forest, not a single tree. As the canopy closes in when a forest matures, very little light reaches the forest floor and shaded branches are not replaced when damaged or simply die from lack of light.
    It wasn’t so much about a specific tree as it is about the entire forest as a system. Leaf litter, fallen branches, eventually a tree dies, falls over, and all of the carbon is released back into the atmosphere. When the forest reaches full maturity and trees begin to die from old age, the forest has reached equilibrium. Actually if the forest is large enough it is creating the CO2 from decay that it is using for growth. It creates its own optimum atmosphere. A forest is only a net CO2 sponge until it reaches maturity and then it becomes a sort of carbon bank. But all of the carbon stored in the wood is destined to be released back into the atmosphere when it dies and begins to decay.

  88. crosspatch (22:03:19) :
    That’s correct, saving paper simply puts tree farmers in places like Arkansas and Mississippi out of business.

  89. RE: crosspatch (22:22:24) :
    What I’d like to see are expanded drilling operations on land, right here in the Bay Area. There are existing producing small fields in southern San Mateo County (a little known fact). It’s pretty heavy crude though.

  90. My tree hugging accountant friends say do not tear the paper. Re roll it and use the other side.
    They discovered that by re rolling adding machine tapes.
    good news. Two days till thursday and then we can flush the weekly solids.
    Many are suggesting to not flush every time.

  91. Power Grab et al,
    Here in California, if you produce excess power, or produce power
    off grid, you can be charged for the power you would have used.
    If I was to discover some magic method of making electricity, and added
    a gigawatt of free power to the distribution grid, my bill from the
    power company would be 0.284 dollars per kwh * 1,000,000,000 watts
    or $284,000 per hour. Perhaps I could negotiate some lower
    rate, but that would be the starting point of discussion per current
    law.
    Yes, this point has been litigated. Heck, it was even written up in
    Forbes magazine a few years ago.

  92. Anyone ever heard about using corn cobs?
    With the increase in ethanol production there should be
    plenty of them avaiable.
    The proper way is to use one or two red corn cobs and then a white one.
    You use the white to see if you need to use another red one!

  93. @ SteveSadlov (13:33:34) :
    crosspatch (22:03:19) :
    That’s correct, saving paper simply puts tree farmers in places like Arkansas and Mississippi out of business.”
    You got that right. I’m one of ’em! Here’s a little info on how this CO2 nonsense is impacting agri generally: http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do?symbolicName=/ag/blogs/template1&blogHandle=policy&blogEntryId=8a82c0bc2217993701229af9cdfa067d
    “The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) charts agriculture input costs as a whole to increase by $5 billion annually through 2020. For farmers already struggling with production costs, these increases would be unacceptable. The Fertilizer Institute, after analyzing previous cap-and-trade proposals, determined that the cost of corn production could increase by as much as $79 per acre annually. Another organization, the Heritage Foundation, charts diesel fuel to increase by a whopping 90 percent by 2035. And this burden won’t be limited to ag producers. Rural states like Nebraska would be hammered much harder than either the east or west coasts. This is largely due to our dependence on coal, the cost of which is expected to double in the next ten years, with electricity costs increasing by as much as one-third by 2040, according to AFBF.”

  94. henrychance (13:45:05) :
    “Two days till thursday and then we can flush the weekly solids.
    Many are suggesting to not flush every time.”
    henrychance,,,,,,
    The rule is, If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down!

  95. No on the corn cobs. They are using celulosic waste for ethanol now also.
    Water is an appropriate topic because it is becoming micromanaged and taxed. We had 3 inches yesterday and these cool years have not been dry. Colorado, parts of texas, the coasts, may places are going on rationing and some population movement should follow.
    The hate from warming extremists comes out in the waater legislation.
    The cap and tax bill included timing restrictions as a part of construction standards for showers. They know how dirty you are and how lont it takes to get clean.

  96. An excise tax and what economists call an inelastic good is going to do only one thing – raise government revenue. This has nada, zero zip and zilch to do with a “cleaner” environment.
    I might – might – be able to understand this legislation if the money was given to the municipalities who manage waste to improve their handling of said waste – but that is still a local issue to decide – and not the federal govt’s.
    Pathetic

  97. I refuse to dignify this disgusting, disgraceful thread by participating.
    Should this depraved communistic concept become law in the USA, we in Canada will boldly go forth to start a whole new border industry – the smuggling of toilet paper into America.
    This should dwarf our other smuggling trade, since not every American consumes illegal drugs, booze and cigarettes.
    I have no fear of this insanity coming to Canada. Should our daft politicians propose the banning or taxation of toilet paper, millions of sensible Canadians will tell them where to shove it.

  98. ‘Value-Added Tax, ‘ currently 15%, is added to just about everything in the UK, with a few exceptions, food and clothing and books being the main ones, and, to your delight if you’re off mains drainage and need to call out the sucklift wagon, sewerage. But don’t, or rather do, hold your breath. Things may change.

  99. Worst plumbing related public policy since Roman’s made all their water utilities out of lead…

  100. I see this “emissions tax” as being the mother of all consumption taxes. If you think about it, and to it’s logical conclusion, it’ll be applied to everything as everything we do, produce and consume, is linked to energy use (Fossil fuels).
    If you recall my mentioning GST in New Zealand previously. I nicknamed this the Get Shafted Tax, as it appearded to me I *was* being shafted. I ran a business in NZ for a few years, charged my clients fees for my services which GST of 12.5% was added. The client duely paid and every quarter I paid IRD my bsuiness taxes, my income taxes and the quarterly GST I collected which was usually quite a lot in good quarters. So basically, the Govn’t was paid this GST without doing a single thing (Apart from introducing the legislation of course).
    This is what Cap and Trade, Emissions Trading etc etc, is.

  101. Allan M R MacRae (15:18:29)
    ‘new border industry – the smuggling of toilet paper into America.’
    A scene from Alison’s restaurant flashed in my head. LOL

  102. “mark fuggle (04:25:10) :
    At the risk of being a bit anal, the roll in the cartoon is the wrong way round for viable down-step travel.”
    C’mon Mark, you know facts aren’t required in the environmental/climate debate don’t you?
    Crickey!!! This is something new I’ve discovered about “The Bottom Inspectors” from the UK comic VIZ.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Viz_comic_strips
    “a parody of Hitler’s SS, or perhaps the Stasi. A fascist organisation who knock on people’s doors in the middle of the night and inspect their bottoms. Any transgression is dealt with arbitrarily and cruelly. It has been revealed that the bottom inspectors are actually based on the ticket inspectors of the Newcastle Metro system (Chris Donald in a Picture of Tyneside, BBC 4, June 2005).”
    Spooky!

  103. Kirk W. Hanneman (21:18:56) :
    What’s next, regulating the size of our toilets? Ahaha….oh, wait. 🙁
    **************
    Even worse KWH.
    They are going to standardize US toilets according to International METRIC Sizes.
    Then, using eugenics and stomach staples, they are going to downsize and standardize the American bottom to fit the metric toilet.
    This is One World Government at its worst.
    “We will not stand for it!”

  104. crosspatch (22:03:19) :
    You see, we are infested with a class of idiots……………..
    Got that right – the bureucrats & politicians will ruin us all unless stopped.
    When will they propose to tax the air we breath?

  105. ” … water-based beverages,”
    “Maybe its me. Maybe I’m an idiot. Perhaps I’m overlooking the obvious.”
    “I’ve spent the last half hour trying to think of a beverage that isn’t water based. Does anybody have any examples of one?”
    I was once forced to drink several glasses of cod liver oil before a medical procedure. It isn’t something I would do for fun or enjoyment, though. The taste lingered for weeks. I think it would be an appropriate beverage for convicted serial killers.

  106. “At the risk of being a bit anal, the roll in the cartoon is the wrong way round for viable down-step travel.”
    As the roll fell onto the ground, the person stepped forward to try and recover it. In the process, they delivered a firm kick to the bottom of the roll, thus placing a reverse or “english” spin on it. This could enable to roll to bounce several times, while still unrolling itself with the momentum delivered by the kick.
    This was modeled and proven by one of my children, who happens to be as clumsy as I am.
    This also illustrates the fact that you should never ever ask an engineer a hypothetical question, as they promptly try to answer it.

  107. I am all for helping to improve the environment we live in. There is nothing wrong with that. None the less I don’t think taxing us into oblivion is the way to do it. Not all methods work either. Take my low flush toilet for instance. Sounded like a good idea at the time but in practice it’s not working out too well. It uses about half the water per flush as my old toilet but problem is you have to flush three times to get everything to go down. With liquid waste it only takes one flush so it probably works out to be the same water usage but hanging around waiting for it to refill two more times is really annoying. In the end I save nothing but have a considerable inconvenience. What I would really like is for our exalted rulers to do a reality check before shoving things down our throats. What will the TP tax really solve? Nothing that I can see other than a new way to take our money.

  108. Really
    Here in the UK the double flush toilet is commonplace, push down lightly for a small flush and hard down and hold for a large one.
    All very trendy but I cannot see why it is really necessary, the only fresh water shortages that sometimes occur in England are due to the failure of governments from the 1970’s onward to invest in the infrastructure.
    The current excuse is that water is heavy and hard to transport.
    What Tosh.
    By 100 AD Rome had a fresh water supply delivering about five times as much water per day than is currently used by the whole of South East England. If their engineers could do it then then why not ours now?
    In Kielder water England has the largest man made lake in Europe buitl by fool politicians to supply the steel industry which had vanished by the time it was completed. It can supply all the water South East and West England needs, you simply require a pipeline or aqueduct some 300 miles long and a pumping station or two. In fact you don’t even need the pipes, there is a perfectly good canal network that could do the job.
    And then we could go back to proper flushes. My favourite when I was small being the aptly named Thunderer whose cast iron tank at a height of eight feet could at the pull of the chain deliver five Imperial gallons with a truly impressive roar.
    They don’t make ’em like that these days.
    Kindest Regards

  109. Isn’t too much government wonderful? I suggest writing a strongly worded letter on the subject to your congresscritters, whether they’re Demopublicans or Republicrats. Of course, you know what to use for paper, and the more uses you can get from it, the better. Renew, re-use, recycle!
    See, coloradocelt, some of us are equal opportunity bashers.

  110. a jones (11:46:23)
    ‘My favourite when I was small being the aptly named Thunderer whose cast iron tank at a height of eight feet could at the pull of the chain deliver five Imperial gallons with a truly impressive roar.’
    I recall the ‘Niagara’ from childhood, requiring a double pull with slight hesitation and full effort on the second to work. But can vouch for the efficacy of the ‘Deluge No 2’ still available from a maker of impeccable quality ( although rather vulgar to mention price) at
    http://www.crye.co.uk/product.asp?category=The%20High%20Level%20Cistern&product=High%20Level%20Cistern&category_code=0014-0001-&product_id=236

  111. Is anyone hearing yet from their electric utility that they’re not selling enough electricity?
    Yup, right here in SE Wisconsin. Our local gas/electric utility, WE Energies just asked for a 5% rate increase because of the slow-down in the economy! Not as much electriciy but gas is up a little because of (non-global cooling)

  112. A non-water-based beverage?
    Well, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a big mug full of igneous rocks! Natural, low-calorie, quartz or basalt. Mmmmmmm.
    And when my supply of rocks runs low, it’s not a problem. There is an unlimited supply of rocks in the heads of most politicians and AGW alarmists.
    Cheers!

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