What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 17, 2011

It's Been A While...

The Tribbing is still going on at Richard Mellon Scaife's op-ed page - even if I haven't commented on it in a while.

This morning (hey, did you know the Trib had some publishing trouble yesterday?) on the braintrust's op-ed page we find this:
Revolt of the Light Brigade: Freedom Action has begun a petition drive to have Congress rescind what effectively is a ban on incandescent light bulbs. The group is an offshoot of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. It cites not only the congressional overreach but the mercury danger of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Sans that, can a black market in incandescents be far behind?
And even that, they get wrong. But first, Freedom Action/Competitive Enterprise Institute.

We've discussed them before. Suffice it to say the CEI is a free market think tank aggressively funded by the Trib's owner, Richard Mellon Scaife. According to the numbers at mediamatters.org, he's supported it to the tune of a little more than $2.8 million over the last 25 years or so. According to those numbers, in fact, he is the single largest funder for the CEI.

No mention of that in the editorial - that he funds the think tank his editorial board references.

Also not mentioned in the blurb - the bill that "effectively" banned the old fashioned light bulb was signed into law in 2007 by that champion of Congressional Overreach and Environmentalistic fascism, George W Bush.

One interesting thing - if you actually were to go to the Freedom Action press release describing the petition to end the "ban" (which really wasn't a ban, of course) you'd find that it doesn't actually mention any "mercury danger" even though the Trib said it did. Nor is the word mercury found (at this point, at least) at the Freedom Action website at all.

So even though Scaife's given all this money to the CEI (of which Freedom Action is a part) and even though I am sure he pays his braintrust a very nice salary, they can't even get that simple part right.

The circle jerking continues at the Tribune-Review - even though they need a better fact checker.


EdHeath said...

This article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/science/15building.html?scp=1&sq=zero%20energy%20building&st=cse) shows how the government is leading the way in sustainable building. Yes, inputs went in from non-renewable sources, but now that the building is up and running, it will require few inputs. essentially a very sustainable building, although not meeting the standard of ultimately absolutely sustainable

Panta Rei said...

Re light bulb regulations..

I can agree that the opposition can be a bit hysterical, in the sense of only focusing on CFL mercury etc - and of failing to see the merits of energy efficiency

That said,
firstly, it is indeed a ban:
Any light bulb not meeting the standards is banned.

The usual reply then is that "Incandescents are not banned,
Halogens will be allowed!"

But imposing energy saving on a given product changes its characteristics, which is also true of halogens v ordinary bulbs
in construction, light spectrum, cost etc

all lights have advantages, none should be banned,
and even if there are electricity savings,
citizens pay for the electricity they use:
There is no energy shortage, including of future low emission electricity,
that justifies a limitation on what citizens can use.
Even if if there was a shortage of the finite coal/oil/gas sources, then their price rise limits their use anyway - without legislation.

Moreover: light bulbs don't give out any CO2 gas - power plants might.
If there is an energy supply/emissions problem - deal with the problem!

Why overall society energy savings are not there anyway:
with US Dept of Energy references = Under 1% overall energy savings
from energy efficiency regulations on incandescent lights.

In the search for energy efficiency, stimulated market competition and taxation are both better alternatives: