Majority Of GOP Caucus Votes To Eliminate Energy Efficiency Education

July 15, 2011 2:19 pm ET — Walid Zafar

It turns out that the Republican efforts to save the standard incandescent light bulb aren't all hedged on the supposed dangers of efficient fluorescent bulbs or about maintaining consumer choice. The real fight, it seems, is about the very idea behind efficiency. Consider, for instance, this amendment that freshman Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) introduced during debate on the Water and Energy Act.

An amendment to prohibit the use of funds for maintaining, developing, or creating any Web site which disseminates information regarding energy efficiency and educational programs on energy efficiency specifically to children under 18 years of age.

During the debate last night, Adams complained that the Energy Information Administation's "Energy Kids" website is wasteful and argued that the money should instead be used to "reduce energy prices for all Americans."

ADAMS: In November, the American people sent a resounding message to Congress calling on them to stop wasteful spending and prioritize federal dollars towards job creation. With our nation facing a $14.3 trillion debt, this is the kind of wasteful spending we must stop. Rather than using taxpayer dollars to reduce energy prices for all Americans, the Department of Energy has instead decided to spend your hard-earned taxpayer dollars towards creating and maintaining this website.

The sheer ignorance behind Adams' argument is even more pronounced when you consider that she sits on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

As Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN) pointed out, the website Adams is bent on defunding actually receives 10 times as many hits as the adult version of the site. And what about the wasteful spending? In fiscal year 2011, only $10,000 was spent on the project, spending which largely consisted of maintenance.

This morning, the House defeated Adams' amendment by a vote of 181-233, with 181 Republicans, including GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), supporting the measure. As a spokesman for Rep. Ed Markey (R-MA) told Politico, Adams' effort shows that Republicans "don't just want to kill energy-efficient light bulbs, they want to make sure that kids don't ever hear about them either."

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