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]
Where 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.