SPARTA, N.J. — I would introduce myself as a contractor and a concerned one at that. As I was reading through the November issue I started to say to myself what is with all this green stuff! Then I flipped the page and saw the letter to the editor by Michael Gray. Wow! I can say that I would like to continue to receive your publication, but I do whole-heartedly agree with him on his analysis of the green push in this country. Every aspect of our lives is inundated with the ever growing Leviathan we call our government. They have taken over the banks, the car industry, health care and food industry with the farm bill and have always had their eye on the contractor. With the green push and this extreme environmentalism they are setting themselves up for everything.
I am in N.J. and have had my plumbing license for several years. I pay my fees, go to my continuing education classes and, fine, I do it. The state of N.J. a couple of years back required all contractors to have a home improvement contractor's license. Why would I have to get another license to do what we had already been doing is beyond me, but they won't issue permits if you don't have it. So what do people do? They do more without a license. They do more without inspections. Now what do you think this does? It leads to more unqualified people doing work they shouldn't be doing. The next great thing New Jersey is doing is bowing to the LP gas association and saying that licensed plumbers and mechanical contractors that have been working with LP gas for the past forever have suddenly lost their brains and aren't capable of doing installs and service on LP gas, even though we have been doing them since LP gas has been around. Suddenly we need another license, another layer of bureaucracy and more fees associated with it.
I have attached an article [on the U.S. Department of Energy's proposal to limit showers to 2.5-GPM] to show another example of what the government is doing. Enough is enough. I am sick and tired of the government, whether it is state or federal, pushing us out of business. If people want to be green, fine, no problem. Go nuts. Why is it forced upon us? We do sell high efficiency furnaces, boilers and water heaters. We make a lot of money doing it. People want them. If done properly and a good system is put together, it can save money, great. I have nothing against it. I have an outdoor reset control on my boiler, I love it. But I did it, it wasn’t forced, I didn't get a tax credit. Why do we have carbon credits [Solar Renewable Energy Certificates] and tax credits for doing things like this? Why do we have to pay more through taxes and higher utility cost for someone's subsidized solar panels or insulation upgrades? The great shell game is coming to an end. It is time that we got the government out of our lives, the nanny state is killing us and if we don’t change course immediately, it will kill the contractor and put all service and install in the hands of a few government regulated utilities. It is happening, we need to wake up!
Ryan E. Poust, N.J. Licensed Master Plumber
R. Poust Inc.