Consumer Choice at Risk

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Air Date: April 3, 2012

Host: Vic Eliason

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So often today when it comes to the matter of being Pro-choice, you will hear bureaucrats argue – keep the government out of my bedroom, or keep the government out of my house. Yet, these same bureaucrats have no problem today taking away choices from consumers when it relates to what light bulbs they want to use or what toilets they want for their home, or what washing machines we can use.

Vic played a recording of an exchange that took place in Congress on March 10, 2011. U.S. Senator Rand Paul questioned—and lectured–Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, at a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. They were discussing Senate Bill 395 on energy efficiency of certain appliances and equipment and the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act.

Some of the points made by the Senator were that government mandates regarding appliances, toilets, lawn mowers, light bulbs, etc. create many more problems than they solve. While the goals are to conserve energy and protect the environment, among the other effects are higher prices and lower performance for these products, which often must be manufactured overseas, resulting in the loss of American jobs. And the consumer is left with no choice except to purchase only products that meet the new standards, with the threat of fines or imprisonment if they do not comply.

Callers offered examples of their experiences with these regulations, and gave their comments.

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