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  • Secretary Chu’s $10 Million Fiasco

    During a hearing last week of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R) asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu a seemingly simple question: “(D)o you think a $50 light bulb is affordable for American families?”

    “No, absolutely not,” Chu replied.

    Well, if that’s the case, why did Chu award a $10 million top prize for a $50 light bulb in his department’s competition for an “affordable” light? (FYI: The winner, Philips Lighting N.A., a division of the Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics, was the only contestant.)

    Equally ludicrous is the notion that a government contest was necessary to “incentivize” the development of new lighting technologies, as claimed by Chu, who holds a Ph.D. in physics but doesn’t seem to have a clue about household budgets, light bulb manufacturing, or basic principles of economics.

    In fact, there’s no shortage of bulbs that have come to market since Congress and President George W. Bush effectively banned Thomas Edison’s gift to mankind. Store shelves are loaded with an assortment of compact fluorescents and so-called LEDs (light-emitting diodes). All that’s missing is the practical and affordable $1 incandescent variety that the expensive new bulbs are intended to replace.

    There’s an awful lot of “incentivizing” in Washington these days related to energy, what with the federal government dictating how we fuel our vehicles, light our homes, heat our water, cook our meals, wash our clothes, power our mowers, and all the rest. Obviously, Americans just don’t know what’s good for them. But fiascos like the $50 light bulb certainly demonstrate that Chu and his ilk are making really lousy choices for the rest of us. Manufacturers don’t need a government contest as incentive to turn out products of value—as long as they are allowed to compete for customers without interference from Congress, the White House, and the Department of Energy.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Secretary Chu’s $10 Million Fiasco

    1. Bobbie says:

      what a disgrace to America(ns!) Ignorance trumps common sense?! blatant lies trumps truth? word games and spin, trumps reality? Focus on the principles of this country we've all come to know to live!!!

    2. Dan says:

      What will all these companies do when we are all forced to change our light bulgs to these new energy efficient ones that are supposed to last 10 years or so? There won't be enough of a market to sustain them all then?

    3. bruce alley says:

      i just wish these tree hugging liberals would stay out of our way. this country is going down hill fast. we better get a new president!!!

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