Cap and Trade = ISBU!

16 Jul


Know what? It looks like building an energy efficient, affordable, sustainable alternative home out of ISBU Shipping Containers is starting to look better and better all the time!


Has America finally accepted the idea that Corten Steel houses make sense?

Um… nope.

Is it because I just wrote a book about using ISBUs to build Homes and Buildings?

(Which YOU can buy, RIGHT NOW, for $9.95, by hitting that “BUY MY NEW BOOK” button on the right hand side of the screen!)

Nope, my book isn’t the reason… yet.

The reason that building an ISBU home (be it a “Tiny House” or even a multi-container, multi-story Corten Steel Castle) is starting to look better is that  ISBU homes are usually built out of your wallets and not with money out of some banking institution.

And that might just become a necessity.

Here’s why;

Are you thinking about selling your house any time soon?

If you are… A look at H.R. 2454 (the Cap and Trade bill) might be in order.

Prepare yourself though, because you’re probably going to need medication after you read it.

Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, a home owner won’t be able to sell their home unless they retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of Act. H.R. 2454, the “Cap & Trade” bill.

This bill, passed by the House of Representatives (if also passed by the Senate), will be the largest tax increase anyone in America has ever experienced.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be over $6,800 per year.

And… no one is going to be excluded from it.

And once the lower income families feel their wallets scream from the vice-like grip Congress seems to have on them… you can be sure that these voters will get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new “created” cost.

That translates to a shifting of the burden of this bill to the Middle Class families in America, who will have to pay even more… and since the rich and corporate America will surely dance out of the way… additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out everyone else in this vicious feeding frenzy.

And, that will be yet another stone placed squarely on the backs of American middle class families.

But wait, there’s more;

This bill (that apparently nobody in Congress has read) has a few more tricks up it’s sleeve.

How’s this one, for example;

A year from now the “average Joe” won’t be ABLE to sell their house. Yes, that’s what I said. You probably won’t be able to SELL your house.

Why not? Well, you’ll have to make all those upgrades to your house, FIRST. Only people with enough cash setting around to do that will be able to move their real estate.

But if YOU don’t you’re out of luck, No sale for you, buckwheat…

And if you live in a Mobile home or a pre-fab? Um… Too bad, You’re in the soup, too.

According to the bill, you’ll need to get permission from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to sell your house.

And, that’s not going to be easy to obtain, or cheap, either. You’ll have to get your house tested, to determine if it is up to “energy standards.”  Once it’s tested, some government lackey will show up and tell you what you have to do to make it comply with the new bill, before you can even think about listing it with a Realtor.

It’s called “Modification and Retrofit Compliance of the Act provisions.”

In layman’s terms, you’ll have to upgrade your water and energy efficiency ratings to match the new requirements.

Once you’ve done all that (if you can afford to), you’re not out of the woods. You have to get re-inspected, so that your home can be “labeled” with a sticker or badge that will show that your property is in compliance. It’s like having an energy star rating on your air conditioner or refrigerator.

But, if your house isn’t up to snuff, guess what? You CAN’T sell it. And the EPA is going to be allowed to change the rules as they see it, raising the standards every year, beyond the baselines that the Act itself lays out as groundwork. So, if you can’t reach it now, next year the mark will be even higher.

The Energy czar appointed by Obama, the EPA Commissioner (that’s his title) will run this program under the guise of “the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.”

And he has free rein to reinterpret the standards almost any way he wants, so that he can “act in the government’s best interests.” The “government’s” best interests.

When’s the last time you felt like a politician was acting in YOUR best interests?

And don’t let the loose language of the new standards in the bill fool you, They are intentionally set low, so that the bill will actually pass. Then, after it does, the EPA goon will just raise them up into the sky, to tower over us like Mt Everest.

The Act does already contains yearly increase requirements in energy efficiency for both private and commercial residences and buildings.

But, Mr EPA gets to do whatever he wants, and raise the bar until we get a nosebleed, if he wants to.

Look at Sect. 202:
The Building Retrofit Program mandates a national retrofit program to increase the energy efficiency of all existing homes across America.

IF you’re thinking about selling your house, you’d better do it soon. The Act does allow the government to give you a grant of a few thousand dollars to help out, but it also gives the States the right to decide who gets the grants. So, the state can set requirements to decide where that pool of money will be “best spent.”  Uh oh…

What kind of requirements could they set? Well, how’s this for starters?

“You can’t have an income of more than $50K per year”

They could limit the value of those tt be sold using this money…

“Home selling price can’t be more than $125K”

And they could do anything else that they want  to transfer the load to the same place it always seems to land… right on the neck of the middle class family.

That means that most families won’t get a penny of this grant money, and they will have to pay the entire cost of the retrofit out of their own pockets. And these pockets have already been picked pretty clean by the horrid economy and the housing roller-coaster that we can’t seem to get off of.

That’s more transfer of wealth, more “change you can believe in.”

The Stimulus, ObamaCare, and now this… I sure hope that we can survive all this “change”…

Stay tuned, because next time we’ll talk about Section 204:

“The Building Energy Performance Labeling Program.”


8 Responses to “Cap and Trade = ISBU!”

  1. ted yrizarry July 16, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    You’re Creepy!

    (Editor’s note: “Sticks and stones, bucko!”)

    Why would I call Ronin creepy?

    (Editor’s note: He’s not alone. My wife says it too…) 🙂

    Well, because he is apparently in my head at the moment! I was literally just sending a message to a friend about the benefits of building a home based on my own DIY/build without a loan theology when I noticed this installment of the RR came to my email…

    Ronin…OUT of my HEAD! Haha…

    Now, I realize that there are folks out there that will accuse those like Ronin (and myself though I’m less public about it) of being “extremists” or “doom sayers”.

    I will simply say “POSH!”

    We (America) didn’t become the greatest nation on earth by accident. We didn’t borrow or take out loans to get to where we were. Nor did we hold out our hands and beg for money, or expect others to do FOR us. Our forefathers (and mothers…)did something that may come as a shock to modern Americans…

    They WORKED!

    Hard!!! It is through their great efforts, their blood and sweat, and sacrifice that we developed into what we became. The settlers set out with little but a dream and a willingness and hacked out an entire nation! If they failed they didn’t sob into the wilderness and wait for some government agency to come bail them out. They just rolled up their sleeves, tightened their belts, and gave it another go!

    That is the way I foresee my future. My intent is to buy some land and build my home on it. No loans, no borrowing money from some large, uncaring institution. No shackling myself to some payment in the belief that I am bettering my life. Saving enough money on my tiny little Army paycheck will take time. Fine. Building will be less than 5 star…some stuff will be scrounged or even (Gasp!) recycled to be used in my construction.

    I may even find a way to produce my own lumber from the trees cleared from my own land!

    (Editor’s note: And guys like ME will teach him how to build his own sawmill to do it.)

    It won’t be fast, it won’t be free. But at the end of the day (ok, years) I will be able to lounge on MY land in MY house, and enjoy a beer knowing that all that surrounds me was created by MY hands!!!


    And if the country doesn’t wake up soon and take hold of the runaway government, apathetic citizens, and unwillingness to work for freedom then perhaps we too will find ourselves sharing the fate of the Romans…?

  2. James July 16, 2010 at 10:33 pm #


    I can’t believe that the government would have that much of an authority over our lives should this bill be passed…

    It’s an EXTREME invasion of not only our privacy, but also our rights. How is this going to help anyone at all? We’re still recovering from a Recession, jobs are still growing at a snail’s pace, we’re putting more and more money onto our federal deficit which is looking at never being paid off, and people aren’t making as much money as they were a few years ago.

    You hear it all the time on the news on the internet. Starting wages for those fresh out of college are very low, and competition is very high for both college graduates and workers over 50. It’s a cut-throat economy out there, and slapping an additional tax on to a home sale doesn’t make any sense.

    America has stumbled quite a bit from the economic superpower it was back in the day. Americans were patriotic, hard working, dependable, and proud to know that they lived in America and had the best military around. Today, our people are burned out from this extremely unpopular war, out of tune with what it means to be born in America, and overall just living for the here and now instead of the future.

    We need a Renaissance in order to give this country a wake-up call. It’s not going to be easy, but we’ve got to get our politicians to begin paying off our National Debt. We’ve got to stop borrowing so much on credit cards and money we don’t have. We have to stop buying giant homes that we can’t afford.

    America has to stand it’s ground and begin fighting to save itself from the vast amount of threats to it’s stability. Lending from other countries, millions of foreigners and terrorists entering the country, extreme greed and persuasions from lobbyists…I’m afraid if we can’t get it on the right course, we’ll be subjected to a major crash on our economy and leave us vulnerable to nearly anything.

  3. David July 17, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    Love the blog….and I’m a container fan and owner! Even as conservative as I am, I question the validity of your post on the cap an trade bill. See this post: I hope for all our sake it’s not so!

    • renaissanceronin July 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

      The Bill, when introduced, did have the clauses outlined I mentioned in my post. By the time it had passed, they’d been “removed.” However, if you READ the bill (I did, more than once before I wrote the post), you’ll see that the EPA has the ability, upon passage of the bill, to reinstate language or even refine/define areas of the Bill they think need “adjusting”. And it’s already been made clear that they want the “housing language” reintroduced. Obama has empowered them to do it. So, regardless of the “language striking” – to make it more palatable (insuring that all the crap attached to it passed thru seemingly unnoticed), once it passes your home is at risk, because the very events I’ve described in the post can be put back into play at the discretion of the EPA Czar. It was just a move made it help insure it’s passage, so they can screw us from the “dark side” of the Bill. It happens all the time. It’s just another Bill that started out with good intentions, only to get hijacked along the way down the Beltway. Post stands.

      • David July 18, 2010 at 12:47 am #

        Thanks for the reply….looks like a triple play then….healthcare, finance and now our homes…..all the right conversations…… Horrible legislation…. what’s next?!

        • renaissanceronin July 18, 2010 at 12:52 am #

          If I remember all those lessons my Rabbi’s tried to pound into my head… it’s famine, and then plague… ;(

          In the meantime, I’ll go on teaching people to “build strong, but build afar”… as in woods, hills, over dale, you get the idea… 😉

  4. Gene C. July 17, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    What is that was said by Samuel Johnson (or St. Bernard)…. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. At least with the carrot and stick approach I could believe I had some say in the matter.

  5. Madrigorne July 19, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    I wonder if that will stop the banks from being able to unload all the foreclosed property they scammed off all of us. That would warm my heart a very little bit. I have to work 80 hours a week at a few jobs til the end of the year to keep up with our bills and our mortgage. The end of the year is not so bad, compared to all my people who have LOST their live savings and retirements to try to keep their houses. My house is currently an ark for the displaced housepets they could not take with them as they were forcibly removed from their homes by the local authorities. I have people up here from Katrina, resituated, and who also just their new home here to a predatory loan. We laud you Ronin, thank you for all your good work.

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