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GOP gets provision to curb ban on energy-sucking light bulbs | McClatchy

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Energy won't be able to enforce rules that ban energy-wasting light bulbs when new standards take effect in January, thanks to a requirement slipped into the federal spending bill.

House Republicans added the provision in response to the concerns of people who mistakenly thought that the 100-watt incandescent light bulb would be banned when new standards go into effect on Jan. 1.

"We heard the message loud and clear from Americans who don't want government standards determining how they light their homes," said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh told his listeners this month that the days of the 100-watt bulb were numbered. It soon will be "illegal to buy an incandescent light bulb. ... Well, you can have them but you can't sell them but they're still gonna be gunning for you," he said, according to a transcript of a Dec. 9 program.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:24:38 PM EST
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How the U.S. Federal Government Pushes Energy Efficiency--On Itself: Scientific American

Standing on the north roof of the James Forrestal building in Washington, D.C., Brian Costlow gestures to the black solar photovoltaic array lying flat against the cement tiles. The system generates 235 megawatt-hours of electricity annually in an effort to boost the energy efficiency of this office complex, the headquarters for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Toward the south, the adjoining building takes a different tack. Framed by gray concrete, the west office's 66,000-square-foot roof is painted a stark white. The coating reflects sunlight and heat, reducing the need for air conditioning, and costs just as much as conventional roof resurfacing, said Costlow, who directs the agency's Office of Administration.

Inside, the offices are separated into color zones. Workers in different regions monitor their energy usage and compete head-to-head to improve their profiles, looking for energy losses and observing plug loads. Costlow describes their routine as "finding the alligators and draining the swamp."

The zone with the largest drop in energy consumption from the previous month gets a compact fluorescent bulb in its color in a trophy case in the building's lobby. "We had prominently displayed the daily energy consumption for each zone. We try to really kind of whoop it up a little bit," said Costlow. "We're trying to make certain that each and every employee understands that we can make a difference in the amount of energy that we consume."

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:33:35 PM EST
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