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Sierra Daily

Nov 23, 2010

Dim Bulbs

IStock_000001718772XSmall The daggers are drawn over on Capitol Hill over who will preside over the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Since former chair Rep. Joe Barton (R-BP) has termed out, the job should go to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), but Barton wants a waiver of the rules so he can continue. Hence a campaign to identify Upton as "all socialist," in the words of talk-show host Glen Beck. His crime? Co-sponsoring an energy bill signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007 that included a phaseout of incandescent light bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient models. 

“This would be a tone-deaf disaster if the Republican leadership lets Fred Upton ascend to the chairmanship of the House energy committee,” Limbaugh said this week [reported in Politico]. “This is exactly the kind of nannyism, statism, what have you, that was voted against and was defeated last week. No Republican complicit in nannyism, statism, can be rewarded this way.”

Bowing to the new GOP orthodoxy, Upton has already promised to recant: "If I become chairman, we'll be reexamining the light bulb issue, no problem." If seeing who can advocate wasting the most energy is the issue, though, why stop at lightbulbs? Electricity is for weenies--why not bring back the gas lamp?

--Paul Rauber

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