Senate Committee Considers Raising Efficiency Standards, Oblivious to the Mess They’ve Already Created


Lee Doren, 202-331-2259
Nicole Ciandella, 202-331-2773
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2011 – The Senate takes a step towards further energy efficiency mandates and restrictions today, as Energy and Natural Resources Committee marks up a bill to clamp down on a slew of consumer products, like furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, outdoor lighting, pool heaters, drinking water dispensers and commercial food cabinets.


The plan, co-sponsored by Committee Chairman Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), drew immediate criticism from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Statement by Sam Kazman, CEI General Counsel

If these energy-saving technologies were so good, they wouldn’t need to be imposed on us by law.  Mandated efficiency standards have raised prices, shrunk the availability of affordable models, and pushed repair costs through the roof.  The government’s destruction of conventional top-loading washing machines is but one example of the idiocy of these laws.  Politicians tout these mandates because efficiency is a feel-good mantra with little connection to reality, and appliance makers love them because they restrict competition in low-end model lines.  Meanwhile, consumers get hosed.

Read more by Sam Kazman:

How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine, Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2011

How Many Congressmen Does It Take to Screw the Light Bulb?, Cigar Magazine, February 2011