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Making the transition from light bulbs to ceiling fans

Associated Press

We talked last week about congressional Republicans working to derail Bush/Cheney-era efficiency standards on light bulbs, which the GOP now consider outrageous. That the advanced light-bulb standards were successful in spurring innovation, lowering costs, and improving energy efficiency -- and were approved with bipartisan support -- is apparently irrelevant.

House Republicans are now moving on to ceiling fans.

The House fanned an old debate this week by adopting a provision that would block the Energy Department from setting energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans.

Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn offered the policy rider to the Energy-Water appropriations bill (HR 2609), saying companies such as Memphis, Tenn.-based Hunter Fans cannot afford burdensome regulations that would drive up the price of products.

Those rascally Obama administration bureaucrats and their burdensome regulations, they have a lot of nerve, don't they? What were they thinking creating these anti-business measures?

Oh wait, they didn't. The efficiency standards for ceiling fans were requested by the industry itself so they wouldn't have to deal with a patchwork of state-by-state regulations, and the standards were approved in 2005. For those keeping score at home, in 2005, there was a Republican White House, a Republican-run Senate, and a Republican-run House.

And yet, there was Marsha Blackburn, apparently making oblique references to World War II.

"First, they came for our health care," she said on the House floor. "Then they took away our light bulbs, and raided our nation's most iconic guitar company -- now they are coming after our ceiling fans. Nothing is safe from the Obama administration's excessive regulatory tentacles."

Hunter at Daily Kos added, "Blackburn was in the House in 2005 when they passed these regulations, so she might remember them existing previous to Obama's tentacle-filled reign."