A staggering amount of energy is lost through inefficiency, but Rand Paul wants to guarantee our God-given right to waste as much of it as we want. Greenwire reports on his effort to stop a bipartisan energy efficiency measure. It must be getting rather strange in committee hearings these days:
“I think that to be consistent with a free society, we should make them voluntary,” Paul said of the standards, before launching the committee into a discussion of Ayn Rand’s 1937 novel “Anthem” about individual choice.
Paul described a scene from the novel in which the protagonist discovers the incandescent light bulb and “he naively thinks that electricity and the brilliance of light would be an advantage for society.” But when the protagonist takes the light bulb to the society’s elders, they crush it “beneath the bootheel of the collective,” Paul said.
In the novel, “the collective has no place, basically, for individual choice,” Paul said. “Now, I’m not suggesting that this collective is against electricity, per say, or individualism … but I am suggesting that we’re against choice.”
Paul’s comments about the light bulb hearkened back to a hearing on the measure last month when he lambasted an Energy Department official for enforcing lighting and toilet efficiency standards.
“We are having our choices taken away,” Paul said at yesterday’s markup. “It is the collective body saying you’re not smart enough to buy a light bulb, to buy a toilet, and therefore we will tell you what to buy.”
An example of waste is listed in this report on poorly fitted window air conditioners in NYC:
The scope of the problem is outlined in a report to be released on Thursday by the Urban Green Council. The report, titled “There Are Holes in Our City’s Walls,” estimates that poorly fitted air-conditioners cost buildings in New York City $130 million to $180 million a year in extra fuel consumption, which in turn is linked to an extra 375,000 to 525,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.