Oh, Bob Herbert. He devotes a good chunk of his column to praising California's energy policies during the 1970s, including (wait for it) . . . "when the state established building standards that required greater efficiency with regard to heating and cooling." Wow. Anyone who thinks California's draconian building code revisions in the '70s were a net benefit needs to immediately report back to elementary school. Demanding that all newly-constructed housing meet the state's standards for energy efficiency raises the costs of construction, which raises housing prices. Guess which kind of housing consumers are least able to afford these price increases? That's right: low-income families. It's universally acknowledged that the land use regulations enacted across California in the name of the environment in the '70s were basically an unmitigated disaster. It was one of our great learning experiences: it taught us how to artificially inflate housing costs—and particularly low-income housing costs—across an entire state, making unsubsidized housing almost completely unaffordable to the poor. If Bob Herbert doesn't know this, then I can only conclude that he knows very little about affordable housing policy. Does Herbert think about policy ideas for more than 10 minutes before putting them in his column? Suggesting that we should repeat California's horrific mistakes is like suggesting that we should aggressively deregulate the financial sector again.