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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

California's Green Agenda Being Pushed Through Despite Falling Economy

State considers ban on big screen TVs
March 23rd, 2009, 3:00 am
posted by BRIAN JOSEPH
Sacramento Correspondent

In their continuing quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, state regulators have uncovered a new villain in the war on global warming : your big screen TV

Couch potatoes, beware.

The California Energy Commission is considering a proposal that would ban California retailers from selling all but the most energy-efficient televisions. Critics say the news standards could take 25 percent of televisions off the market — most of them 40 inches or larger.

“The larger the television, the more at risk it is of being banned unnecessarily in California,” said Douglas Johnson, senior director of technology police for the Consumer Electronics Association.

Association officials say the standards are not only unnecessary –  because the federal government already regulates energy efficiency through the voluntary Energy Star program — but also ill-timed. The last thing our economy needs now is products taken off the market, they say.

Furthermore, they say that with a weak economy, consumers are going out less and watching TV more.

“This is really about regulating entertainment, not energy use,” Johnson said.

Poppycock, says the commission.

Affordable big screen TVs will still be available under the new standards, spokesman Adam Gottlieb said. In fact, he said the regulations will save you money.

The commission calculates that if you buy televisions meeting the proposed standards it’ll cut your annual energy use by — drum roll, please — $18 to $30.

“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to save money,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb said the commission is exploring the regulations to reduce the strain on the energy grid and to avoid building new power plants.

Televisions are the fastest growing consumer appliance in California. Californians are buying bigger TVs, and more of them. If something doesn’t happen, televisions are going to devour a bigger and bigger piece of the state’s power grid, which means we’ll need more power plants. More power plants mean more greenhouse gas emissions.

“Consumers aren’t aware of the hidden cost of powering these things,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb insisted that the regulations wouldn’t eliminate big screens from California stores. But the commission’s own draft report says TV energy use is “proportional to the screen size.” And there’s no doubt the regulations will limit energy use.

So if you’re in the market for big screen TV, now might be the time to buy. The regulations are expected to be approved this summer.


My Thoughts

This is just what this country needs. The new regulations will decrease the sales of the TVs. This in turn will lead to layoffs all the way from the TV manufacturing plants to electronics stores. Unemployment will go even higher with the added layoffs.

Couldn't they wait until we get the economy back on track before putting these kind of unneeded limitations on our businesses?

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