GOP Rep Seeks to Stop Kids from Learning about Energy Efficiency


Photo: Creative Tools. via Flickr/CC BY

The Tea Party crowd's aversion to better energy efficiency standards for light bulbs is well known by now: A straightforward, industry-supported 2007 bill signed into law by George W. Bush has now been falsely construed as a 'light bulb ban', and pushed as the latest overwrought metaphor for freedom itself slipping away into the cold American night. Of course, it's mostly little more than opportunistic grandstanding.

But at least one GOP representative isn't content to stop at merely preventing the energy-saving measures from taking effect -- she wants to make sure that kids don't learn about the benefits of energy efficiency, either. And so, Sandy Adams (R-FL) has introduced an amendment to the Energy and Water spending bill that would "would limit funds for any DOE website 'which disseminates information regarding energy efficiency and educational programs to children or adolescents,' according to Politico.

In Adams' cross hairs is the Dept. of Energy's "Energy Kids!" website that provides teaching materials to help kids learn about using energy more efficiently. It offers facts, stats, graphs, and other tools intended to help teachers and parents teach their kids about where their energy comes from and how to use it most wisely. And Adams has made a priority to take it down.

It's a simple, useful educational resource, and it is 100% ideologically nonpartisan. I don't have the figures, but I can't imagine it is the nation's largest drain of government resources, either.


Screengrab: DOE Energy Kids

But if energy efficiency has indeed become the Tea Party's latest freedom-destroying bogeyman, then I suppose this website that informs kids about energy issues is something like the Anarchist Cookbook to them. In fact, just read this blurb, and be terrified:

Lighting is also essential to a modern society. Lights have revolutionized the way we live, work, and play. Most homes still use the traditional incandescent bulbs invented by Thomas Edison. These bulbs convert only about 10% of the electricity they use into light; the other 90% is converted into heat. In 1879, the average bulb produced only 14 lumens (a measure of the quantity of light) per watt, compared to about 17 lumens per watt from modern incandescent bulbs. By adding halogen gases, the efficiency can be increased to 20 lumens per watt.
How dare the government try to teach this stuff to our children? The monsters!

There are perhaps a number of controversial projects that the government is involved in. Running a simple, low-cost website to help teachers, parents, and kids learn about energy is not one of them.

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More on Light Bulbs & Energy Efficiency
Light Bulb Ban Would Save Consumers $12.5 Billion by 2020, Eliminate 33 Power Plants
Tea Party Attempt to Block Incandescent Ban Fails to Get Enough Votes

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