Energy Star-t Your Engines

Massive fraud in the EPA/DOE Energy Star Program. Automated system allows fake products to get approval.

Above - a WUWT original: 4 cycle alarm clock

WASHINGTON — Does a “gasoline-powered alarm clock” qualify for the EnergyStar label, the government stamp of approval for an energy-saving product?

Like more than a dozen other bogus products submitted for approval since last June by Congressional auditors posing as companies, it easily secured the label, according to a Congressional report to be issued Friday. So did an “air purifier” that was essentially an electric space heater with a feather duster pasted on top, the Government Accountability Office said.

See photo below

This piece of junk got an Energy Star Rating!

In a nine-month study, four fictitious companies invented by the accountability office also sought EnergyStar status for some conventional devices like dehumidifiers and heat pump models that existed only on paper. The fake companies submitted data indicating that the models consumed 20 percent less energy than even the most efficient ones on the market. Yet those applications were mostly approved without a challenge or even questions, the report said.

Auditors concluded that the EnergyStar program was highly vulnerable to fraud.

Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department, said the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed. There was “no fraud,” Ms. Vargas emphasized. She said she doubted that many of the 40,000 genuine products with EnergyStar status had been mislabeled.

Yet auditors found problems beyond the approval of nonexistent products. They determined that once a company registered as an EnergyStar partner, it could download the logo from the government’s Web site and paste it on products for which it had not even requested approval.

The report is only the latest in a series involving the 18-year-old EnergyStar program, which was set up to guide the public on energy-efficient choices that could both save people money and help reduce the nation’s runaway energy consumption.

Watchdogs within the Environment Protection Agency and the Department of Energy have reported in the past that Energy Star has taken some claims of energy efficiency on faith. Yet the new study suggests that it often does so on remote control.

Congressional auditors said they were told by EnergyStar officials that some of the approvals, including the one for the gasoline alarm clock, had been issued by an automated system and that the details had probably never been reviewed by a human being.

Read the rest at the New York Times here.

A full report is available at the GAO:

Summary web page here.

Highlights PDF here

Detailed report PDF here

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80 Responses to Energy Star-t Your Engines

  1. JorgXMcKie says:

    Somehow, I’m not surprised. I’m not sure why I’m not surprised, but I’m not,

    Oh, wait. Yes, I am sure why I am not surprised. Government is full of well-paid idiots.

  2. Doug in Seattle says:

    I just can’t stop chuckling over the gasoline powered alarm clock. How in the world does one get to sleep in the first place with a 4 stroke next to ones ear? An then how the heck would ones ears be able to hear the alarm over it?

  3. Dave Wendt says:

    Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

  4. evanmjones says:

    Video killed the EnergyStar.

  5. evanmjones says:

    (We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far.)

  6. Doubting Thomas says:

    Let’s see -“Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department, said the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed. There was “no fraud,” Ms. Vargas emphasized. She said she doubted that many of the 40,000 genuine products with EnergyStar status had been mislabeled.”

    So if completely bogus products got approved it’s okay because they really didn’t exist – and so there was no fraud – she doubted that many of 40,000 genuine products were mislabeled. As a consumer I am so confident of her ability to doubt, that I will spend the night wondering if any of my EnergyStar certified products are going to burst into flames.

    She missed her calling – she could be a “Climate Scientist”. I would like to recommend her to head up the next IPCC report. I am sure that with such proven management skills and her ability to doubt there is any problem in the face of total failure to insure documentation is accurate in consumer products would be a big plus. sarc/off

  7. jdn says:

    That would wake me up, especially if it were a two stroke. :)

  8. LightRain says:

    Never mind that the 4 cylinder alarm clock doesn’t exist, if it’s been approved where do I download my rebate form?

  9. Doubting Thomas says:

    With such attention to detail and superior ability to doubt she should head up the next IPCC report.

    Meanwhile I will toss and turn all night wondering if my EnergyStar appliances are going to burst into flames.

    The approval of the space heater with a feather duster stuck in it is going to be in my head for hours as I toss and turn.

  10. Don Shaw says:

    I can’t wait till Maria Vargas takes control of the cap and trade program or until her “likes” in the other agencies of the government regulate my health care needs.

  11. Ian H says:

    Man – that gasoline powered alarm clock sure looks cool though. How fast it is? I bet it does 0 to 60 seconds in … um … 60 seconds.

  12. Leon Brozyna says:

    Only from the mouth of a bureaucrat would such nonsense be taken seriously:

    “… the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed. There was ‘no fraud.’”

    If such sloppiness came out of a business, it would be fined and there would be loss of business – and jobs. Since this is government, they’ll hire more people, get a bigger budget, and more power. And probably hit hard at businesses for their failures.

    And remain in their comfortable and secure jobs with regular and steady raises, job security, health benefits paid for by overburdened taxpayers, and a retirement plan also paid for by taxpayers which would bankrupt a regular business.

    Ain’t the life of a parasitical slug marvelous.

  13. CPT. Charles says:

    || Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department, said the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed. There was “no fraud,” Ms. Vargas emphasized. She said she doubted that many of the 40,000 genuine products with EnergyStar status had been mislabeled. ||

    Yeah, right.

    And the Easter Bunny is the Prophet of Gaia.

    I’ll let you decide which pronouncement has more credibility.

  14. Rick Bradford says:

    “Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, … ” etc

    Classic post-modern thinking.

    Ignore a basic wrongness because it seems that so far nobody’s likely to be in a position to complain. CYA, denial of any shortcomings, evasion of responsibility. Remain firmly blame-free and judgment-free.

    Could easily be a climate scientist.

  15. Molon Labe says:

    Hey, let’s let them run health care. What could go wrong?

  16. Skip says:

    Hey, I want that gasoline powered alarm clock! I will use it tomorrow morning in fact to get a good start to celebrating Human Achievement Hour formerly known as earth hour. And I will need to get up early to string up all my Clark Griswold Christmas lights!

    (do you think I could run that alarm clock with ethanol blended gas?)

  17. Predicador says:

    I’m about to submit an application for a ‘male bovine excrement powered knowledge base’. That would be some real green energy, wouldn’t it?

  18. Mike D. says:

    [T]he federal government and various states offer tax credits and other incentives to encourage the use of energy-efficient products including Energy Star products. Specifically, approximately $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used for state rebate programs on energy-efficient products.

    $300 mil in Stim funds are up for grabs. Who wouldn’t commit fraud for that kind of coin? Give poor Maria a break. What’s she supposed to do, fight off wolves with a stick?

    We get the kind of gummit we deserve. We elected the wolves, after all.

  19. George Turner says:

    This story reminds me of a semi-famous Clinton-era Al Gore appearance on a late night show, in which he was bragging about how much his anti-government waste program had saved on the cost of ash trays in federal buildings. He did his all-knowing, wise, bragging bit and then the host said something like (this is the gist of it. Memory fails,) “But surely you know that smoking in federal buildings has been banned, so I think we can save even more money on ash trays.”

  20. Larry says:

    This IS hysterical. More comedy from one of our vaunted Government environmental programs. They are becoming a laugh a minute.

  21. crossopter says:

    “Is this particular model (the 655x**) available in cordless? In-store? Now??
    You, you mean it comes complete with non-rechargeable supply and no sump thrown in?…… ”
    Yup, Ma’m, we even throw in a completely useless free guarantee valid against almost nothing that can’t go wrong. And all lock stock and valid so either your covered between date of purchase or the operator module proves defective…

    “Gee, honey, its great to be in London….take me next to ‘Carbon City’…….let’s spend together like no other did…

  22. KTWO says:

    As the Official Shill For Shell I will clarify this matter.

    This item is real and runs on CO2 absorbed from the air. Between movements of the second hand it extracts hydrogen from water vapor in the air and stores it in that little tank.

    The assertion that Congressional Auditor were ever involved is an urban myth.

  23. Tom in Texas says:

    16 comments right on target.

  24. Mark.R says:

    oT but earth hour just started here in new Zealand 3 out of 4 houses in my street have their light of but you can see their tv on.All my light are on. By the way the movie that on tv is that comedy THE DAY AFTER.

  25. M. Simon says:

    And the Easter Bunny is the Prophet of Gaia.

    You have been reading Naked Lunch again haven’t you?

  26. Beth Cooper says:

    What’s next…the energy efficient mouse trap…reduces energy use by 50%/

  27. Kate says:

    If anyone needed proof that “climate change” is an excuse for politicians and bureaucrats to indulge themselves going on junkets at taxpayers’ expense to talk about something they don’t actually believe really exists, the Daily Express provides it today:

    http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/165474

    CLIMATE MEPS LIVE IT UP IN TENERIFE

    Saturday March 27,2010
    Nick Fagge

    A GROUP of Euro-MPs sparked fury yesterday after jetting off to sunny Tenerife on an expensive junket to discuss climate change. The six-day summit will see scores of Eurocrats descending on the Canary Isles, leaving taxpayers back home to pick up the £550,000 bill.

    Five British MEPs form part of the EU delegation that will discuss climate change, bananas and illegal immigration on the popular holiday island. But no treaties will be signed and no legislation will come into force as the summit has no power to enshrine decisions in law. Instead, the 250 delegates will enjoy visits to the island’s finest beaches and be wined and dined at gala dinners while living it up in luxury hotels.

    Critics last night branded it “hypocritical” to fly delegations ­thousands of miles – creating some 200 tons in carbon emissions – to discuss saving the planet. UKIP Euro-MP Derek Clark said: “MEPs from all three establishment parties are off on a junket with ­taxpayers’ cash, pouring tons of carbon into the atmosphere.”

    Mark Wallace, of the TaxPayers’ ­Alliance, said: “It is sickening that these MEPs are jetting off to a sunny island while their constituents are stuck with strikes, pay cuts and tax rises. To fly to a conference where they plan to lecture us about climate change is the height of hypocrisy.

    “It’s funny how these conferences are always held somewhere with sandy, sunny beaches.”

    Friends of the Earth said: “MEPs should be leading by example.”

    The summit, which starts today, was described as little more than a “talking shop” by one Eurocrat. Among the delegates are British Euro‑MPs David Martin (Labour), Martin Callanan (­Conservative), Robert Sturdy ­(Conservative), James Nicholson (Ulster Unionist) and Fiona Hall (Liberal Democrat).

    Last night Miss Hall said it was Spain which chose Tenerife as it holds the EU presidency. She added: “It is ridiculous that we have to go all the way to Tenerife.” No other MEP was available for comment. The delegation is made up of 68 Euro-MPs from all 27 EU member states. They will meet with 68 representatives from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations and up to 114 officials and translators.

    Conference and accommodation costs are estimated to be £400,000, while flights for the EU delegation will cost £160,000. ACP delegates are expected to pay their own way. An ACP-EU spokesman told the Daily Express yesterday that Tenerife had been chosen because the Canary Islands were Europe’s biggest banana producer and a prime gateway for ­illegal immigration.
    ***************************************************************************

    What have bananas and illegal immigration got to do with climate change? I wait, agog, to find out.

  28. Kate says:

    It looks like we are stuck with Pachauri until 2013.

    This is from today’s Independent, where he answers his critics:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/im-not-quitting-says-underfire-un-climate-boss-1928872.html
    ***************************************************************************

    ‘I’m not quitting’ says under-fire UN climate boss

    Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
    Saturday, 27 March 2010

    The much-criticised head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr Rajenda Pachauri, gave a vigorous defence of his position last night, accepting there had been mistakes in the IPCC’s work, taking responsibility for some of them, but robustly refusing to stand down. He would see out his term and preside over the next IPCC assessment report, due in 2013, he said.

    Dr Pachauri agreed that the actions of the IPCC in recent months, when some of its forecasts had been shown to be wrong and it had not responded quickly enough to criticism, had contributed to the public loss of belief in predictions of global warming and in human responsibility for climate change. But he said the organisation had learned from these events and was taking steps to become much more responsive in future.

    In a wide-ranging interview with The Independent, the 69-year-old Indian scientist also gave an extraordinary detailed defence of his personal life, allegations about which have been used in attacks on him in the last three months.

    He has been accused of leading a film-star life with Bollywood friends in Delhi, enriching himself through his IPCC connections and publishing a raunchy sex novel. “My salary is something that you would find laughable,” he said (later revealing it was $45,000 dollars per annum). “I have never bothered about money – I come from a family of academics. My lifestyle is barely comfortable, but there are some things I am very conscious of. When I leave my office, I switch off the lights even if I am out for five minutes. In Delhi, temperatures drop to 1 degree Celsius in the winter, but I refuse to use heating in my bedroom – I’ll take an extra blanket or whatever. I’ve been a vegetarian for several years now, I haven’t seen a movie for years together, and I work every day of my life.”

    Dr Pachauri said a “forensic audit” of the money he made from advising organisations on climate change, carried out by the auditors KPMG, had shown that it all went into his Indian energy institute, TERI. “They’ve checked on that and clearly come up with conclusion that not a penny comes to me,” he said. “I could be earning a lot, I could be earning a million dollars a year if I wanted, but whatever little I get, which is nowhere near a million dollars, goes to my institute which is a charitable institution not owned by anybody. Any minor surpluses we generate, we use for doing work in rural areas, making sure the poorest of the poor get lighting by using solar lanterns.”

    He agreed he had friends in Bollywood, but said that it was Bollywood stars who were used to promote his institute’s “Lighting a million lights”project. “Amitabh Bachchan, who is really the biggest Bollywood superstar we’ve ever had perhaps, he’s a brand ambassador for us, and if I can use these personalities for a good cause, I feel perfectly comfortable doing so,” he said.

    As for his recently-published novel, Return to Almora, he said suggestions that it was a “sex novel” were “totally off the mark.”

    “This is absolutely ridiculous, he said. “This is a novel of 400 pages about a person who is trying to look at the meaning of life, what happens to the human soul when we die, where does it go, and in the course of this he falls in love and he has a few relationships, but I’m not describing any explicit sex scenes. That’s a totally false impression. I’m happy to send you a copy if you have the patience to go through it, but it’s 400 pages all about spirituality.”

    Dr Pachauri accepted the IPCC was at fault in some of the incorrect predictions in its last report, in particular the suggestion that the Himalayan glaciers would melt though global warming by 2035 (the real figure should be 2350).

    He said he was informed of this in mid-January and acted immediately to correct it, but he accepted that the IPCC had not responded quickly enough to media inquiries, and said it would be setting up its own media unit at its Geneva headquarters (it is currently without a dedicated media operation or press office).

    He revealed that just how much carbon the world can emit and keep global warming temperature rises to no more than two degrees Celsius will be worked out this year, for the next UN climate meeting to be held in Cancun, Mexico, next December.

  29. mark fuggle says:

    It reminds one of the financial ratings agencies triple A for junk.

  30. ditmar says:

    Top Gear did a show featuring a V8 food mixer. I reckon if they converted it to biofuel that would qualify, wouldn’t it?

  31. Kate says:

    Pachauri claims in the Guardian today that he is being hounded and persecuted by skeptics, and he is the subject of Mccarthyite-witch hunt-type attacks accusing him of being a climate criminal and …oh, do excuse my typos as I my screen is going blurry through my tears.. anyway you can have a good cry yourself reading about how the poor doctor is being dissed when he is just trying to save the planet, and him with no personal interests at stake, etc…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/26/rajendra-pachauri-climate-science-persecution

    The head of the UN’s climate change panel has accused politicians and prominent climate sceptics of “a new form of persecution” against scientists who work on global warming.

    In a strongly worded article published on the Guardian website, Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), hit out at those in “positions of power and responsibility” who try to portray “dedicated scientists as climate criminals”.

    …blah, blah, blah.

  32. Tony Price says:

    I’m going to submit a bio-diesel powered chainsaw for cutting bread, and I guarantee it’ll use 20% less fuel than all other bread-cutting chainsaws on the market. When not being used for its intended purpose, it could be used for cutting this collection of smug bureaucrats down to size. Or cutting ring-samples from a certain bristlecone-pine somewhere in the Rockies….

    How about a few new collective nouns for the current news climate? A “warming” of climate scientists, a “huddle” of bureaucrats, a “smugness” of MSM journalists, an “indignation” of sceptics, a “confusion” of politicians”, a “hockey-stick” of statistics, an “interpolation” of data, a “conflation” of evidence….

    Any suggestions?

  33. DirkH says:

    You don’t understand the Gasoline powered Alarm Clock. You get sleepy when the motor block starts its purring soothing vibrations and you wake up when it stops. Works best when you sleep on top of it.

  34. Archonix says:

    This is like the EU’s CE programme for imports, which remarkably enough is behind the raft of dodgy chinese products banned in the US last year and the year before. In principle it’s a grand idea: the producer certifies that his products are up to the standards required and then they get fast-tracked through customs without the usual checks on whether they’re actually up to the standards they’re claimed to be up to. In fact anything bearing a CE mark and the necessary paperwork for import to the EU can’t be checked by customs officials at all.

    The CE scheme was seen as so clever that many other countries relied on it as an unofficial certification, or set up their own schemes along similar lines.

    And of course it is riven with fraud and deceit. Manufacturers routinely forge the paperwork through bribes or the use of loyal “inspectors”, producing shoddy, sub-standard and sometimes lethally dangerous goods that cannot be spotted when the goods are being imported, because they aren’t checked, and are usually only spotted when they kill or injure someone.

    Numerous systems we rely on every day are broken at a fundamental level. They could be fixed quite easily, but that would mean bureaucrats in positions of some authority would lose their perceived power and prestige, and for them that’s terrible.

  35. toyotawhizguy says:

    With over a $1.5 trillion annual budget deficit adding to the $12+ trillion national debt, a good start in trimming the budget would be to abolish the (redundant) EPA, and cut the size of the (energy inefficient) Energy Dept by 2/3rds.

  36. Allan M says:

    A really good engine for the alarm clock would be the Foden FD6 two-stroke diesel from 1964:

    If you survive the fumes, you won’t fall asleep.

  37. Allan M says:

    OT, but this is funny:
    UN climate change chief Rajendra Pachauri says sorry — and switches to neutral

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7078140.ece

    He claimed he had the support of all the world’s governments and denied that, by remaining in post, he was undermining the IPCC’s chances of regaining credibility with the public.

    “It is not correct to say there are people who don’t trust me,” he said.

    QOTW?

  38. Bob Tisdale says:

    Anthony: The WUWT 4-cycle alarm clock in the photo appears to be based on the S&S 113c.i. V-twin. That’s physically too tall to fit into my 1978 H-D FXS frame. Do they have Shovel Head versions of the alarm clocks? That would be a direct replacement!!

  39. tarpon says:

    I couldn’t find the gasoline powered crapper.

    Seems like everything government does turns to crap. Anyone else notice the effect?

  40. Michael says:

    I’m crying because I’m laughing so hard. People with integrity no longer exist.

  41. cbullitt says:

    Of course your clock is sponsored by EEEEEvil Big Oil.

  42. DirkH says:

    About the CE certification system: Yes, any ole chinese firestarting USB hub can be sold in Europe. OTOH, we start forcing people to have smoke detectors installed to compensate for the extra suffocations and burn victims. Marvellous, ain’t it? And i did buy a USB hub that instantly went up in smoke and flames, the Chinese really show their millenia-old firecracker-building knowledge… luckily i was in the room.

  43. Steve in SC says:

    This would be funny except for the fact that these people are real and they are only the tip of the iceberg.

  44. Bill Tuttle says:

    Massive fraud in the EPA and DOE is *news*?

    What would be *news* is a press release saying they had repented for all the actual damage they’ve done to the environment under the guise of protecting it.

    And what would be *good* news is that they were so remorseful, they were resigning en masse and had already rigged their offices for demolition.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I once had to take an EPA “scientist” to the hospital when he couldn’t see the flames from a lit landfill methane burner and stuck his arm down the tube to “prove” it wasn’t lit.

  45. dave ward says:

    Doug in Seattle (21:59:17) : You’ve got it the wrong way round. The Engine is silent until the “Energy Star” clockwork powered alarm goes off. This starts the un-silenced Harley motor which wakes you up! Some inconsiderate has a road going version round here, and it certainly disturbs my sleep – even through double glazed windows….

    Here’s a V8 Powered chainsaw – sounds like it could be running on alcohol…

  46. old construction worker says:

    mark fuggle (02:03:06) :
    ‘It reminds one of the financial ratings agencies triple A for junk.’

    Thanks for the chuckle of the day!

  47. R. de Haan says:

    We are now officially living in the age of Government induced fraud and deception at the expense of the taxpayer and the consumer.

    – Government induced demonizing of coal, oil and gas
    – Government induced promotion of Anthropogenic Global Warming.
    – Government induced promotion of useless and expensive alternate energy generation technologies and so called carbon neutral resources
    that are damaging to the environment and promote famines in the Third World because they compete with our food chain and raise the electricity bill of the consumer with no gain: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/03/electric_green_waste.html
    – Government induced fraud schemes like the EPA/DOE Energy Star Program that do more harm than good, all based on a propaganda driven hoax!

    These schemes undermine the very basis of the US power generation and prevent necessary investments where they are really needed.

    The availability of cheap and reliable energy is essential for the US Economy.
    This is all jeopardized in a very serious way.

    Prepare for similar schemes to emerge in the Health care sector.

    Action must be undertaken and the perpetrators must be punished.

  48. jack morrow says:

    I once saw a picture of an official outfitted government horse. It had so many protection devices that they probably out weighed the horse. Examples were a poop er catcher and the best of all–an automatic WHOA!
    What a government-alas,so sad.

  49. Bruce Cobb says:

    “Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department, said the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed. There was “no fraud,” Ms. Vargas emphasized.” What a stunning non sequitur. Is she for real? It is difficult to fathom how a human being could be that dense and still be able to function. Perhaps she’s some sort of droid they’re working on, but still haven’t worked out all the kinks.
    “She said she doubted that many of the 40,000 genuine products with EnergyStar status had been mislabeled.”
    Wow. So, because she “doubts” we’re all supposed to just believe? She needs to go back to the droid factory. The software needs some serious upgrading.

  50. rbateman says:

    Does the Alarm Clock come with the Hemi option?
    (Ask the dog what he thinks about Chevy now).

  51. Tom in Florida says:

    Perfect example of how these knuckleheads will be running health care.

  52. R. de Haan says:

    And while we discuss this amazing example of Fraud, those celebrating “Earth Day Hour” applaud any measure to prevent us from using energy, no matter the costs.

    There are countries in the world that always have have Earth Day Hour!
    Like North Korea!

    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2010/03/its-always-earth-hour-in-north-korea.html

  53. TerryBixler says:

    Unfortunately this is but an opportunity for government bureaucracy to expand further as clearly regulation is required on the regulators. A ‘reform’ package needs to be in place to bring the EPA into alignment with the newly mandated regulations. Transparency will be improved and there will be no behind closed door deals…. maybe Lisa can now get some advice from Cathy Zoi.

  54. David Alan Evans says:

    Kate (01:21:31) :

    The references to bananas & immigration are sort of doffing the cap to the imminent status of Western nations due to climate change regulations.

    DaveE.

  55. Henry chance says:

    You all need to be in trouble for Gaia bashing. Inciting hate.

  56. NickB. says:

    …and to think that the average government job now pays more than the average private sector job in the US

  57. Brute says:

    This guy submitted this revolutionary breakthrough in automotive technology and won his Energy Star rating with this simple explanation of the merits of his newly developed device……….

    http://home.comcast.net/~steveham21/turbo.mpg

  58. Ric Werme says:

    So, how do we get EnergyStar certification for WUWT? I know – it’s runs on only one Watts, and gets 40 million page views, so that’s only 25 picoWatts/view. This is a significant improvement over the lifetime of and the continuous process improvements on the blog.

  59. Lowell says:

    Wow, what a great idea. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is only a few months away.

    I’m immediately going to apply for a goverment grant to obtain several million dollars to build these alarm clocks. My plan to save energy is to give these away free at the rally. The dozens of people who will take them home and replace their energy wasting electric alarm clocks will save so much energy it will delay the need to build any more power plants….ever!

    And who said there is no advantage to having a US goverment stamp of approval?

  60. Henry chance says:

    Nice spring weather today. Finally after blizzard last weekend. I will fire up my Energy Star Weber charcoal grill and smoke some meat. I have clear/clean Gulf Oil charcoal lighter fluid.
    I add some organic free range mesquite to get low carbon footprint smoke.
    Did I mention the beef cattle are vegetarians? Yes sir. I eat beef from non meat eating herds.

  61. Gary says:

    Did ctm get one of these for his birthday?

  62. bradley13 says:

    I *want* one of those alarm clocks – totally cool (well, ok, probably kinda warm when it runs)

  63. Scipio says:

    I’m sure the new health care system will be run with just as much attention to detail.

  64. r says:

    And people actually WANT government run health care?

    The sad thing is that everybody seems to EXPECT this kind of incompetence, corruption, and lame excuses. And government employees are paid well above what people make in the private sector, with generous pensions.

    Where is the outrage? Where are the firings? Where are the prosecutions?

  65. imapopulist says:

    A gasoline powered alarm clock gets the energy efficiency award? How absurd. Everyone knows that diesel is far more efficient than gasoline…

  66. Methow Ken says:

    Only in the Government. . . .
    The response of EPA Maria Vargas is CLASSIC bureaucratise.

    And this is the Government that is going to give us Cap & Tax, Government-run health care, etc. We live in perilous times. . . .

  67. latitude says:

    “There was “no fraud,” Ms. Vargas emphasized”

    On a separate note, Ms. Vargas also emphasized there was no fraud in government run health care and climate change

  68. JDN says:

    Here’s the engine to run the clock:

  69. Rod E. says:

    Another great example of a program that a Republican Congress should “zero out” in 2011. Just refuse to budget funding for it. Then it dies. Period.

    While they’re at it, zero out the salaries of the 16,000 IRS agents that are going to be our Soviet overseers regarding our health insurance.

    (There’s got to be a way to use “Zero Out” as a campaign slogan.)

    ZERO OUT ZERO’S AGENDA

    TIME FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF ZERO

    Suggestions?

  70. _Jim says:

    Not quite OT; at least tangential to the topic at hand, one of our esteemed Washington leaders at NHTSA has said:

    “Today I want to announce a sea change,” he wrote on his blog last week. “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of nonmotorized.”

    This was Ray La Hood (head of HTSA and senile, I think), the same guy who said initially said Toyota owners should stop driving their cars …

    This was in a posting by LEORA BROYDO VESTEL titled: Transportation Department Embraces Bikes, and Business Groups Cry Foul March 26, 2010, 10:03 am

    Some of the responses were quite poignant, e.g.:

    … bad ole automobile paid for the roads that the pedestrians and bicycles claim such a right to. Since there is no fuel involved to walk or cycle, how about an extra $100 for sport/walking shoes and an extra $1000 per bicycle to pay for all these bike lanes and sidewalks that will be built for those specific uses. As the evil gasoline powered vehicle fades into the sunset so does its billion$ in tax revenues. If you want these nice paved pathways, cough up the cash folks. Gas or cash, no one rides for free.

    .
    .

  71. Claude Harvey says:

    Government bureaucrats are “paper pushers”. Government employees, like most everyone else, do what they are rewarded for doing. They are rewarded for seeing to it that the paperwork is in order according to “regulations”. They are not rewarded for, and would probably be penalized as a result of, actually going outside the box and spending paid time to question whether that paperwork actually made any economic sense. They know what their job is and “that ain’t it”!

    The only real bottom line most government agencies are subjected to is one single consideration: “Do we have enough funding to make payroll?” What passes for ambition in such an organization is embodied in a second single consideration: “How can we get more money to hire more people and enlarge our payroll?” That is the behavior the system rewards and that is why many argue that government should only perform those functions that cannot be accomplished any other way. Attempts to introduce individual economic incentives into the government workplace almost always result in screams from the public of “abuse of power” (think traffic cops or IRS agents on commission).

  72. shellback says:

    Well, somewhere, the sun is over the yard arm. I’m pouring a stiff one.

  73. Socratease says:

    [B]ecause the products never existed [t]here was “no fraud,” Ms. Vargas emphasized.

    Reminds me of the line of 3 Days Of The Condor: “You think not getting caught in a lie is the same as telling the truth.”

    Having the government measure “energy efficiency” is just begging for this kind of result. People who have to pay for their energy make rational decisions about it, and a government program that ignores how much that efficiency increases the product’s costs, how long the product will last, and how much the energy it saves over that time will cost is bogus to begin with. The fact they don’t even do as little as they promise is just adding insult to injury.

  74. Douglas DC says:

    Can’t get this to imbed but if you should market your alarm, Anthony,
    may it sound like this:
    Caution those sensitves to unburned hydrocarbons and raw horsepower
    may be freaking alarmed all others-enjoy…

    Brought tears to this old Douglas driver eyes…

  75. B. Jackson says:

    Bob Tisdale (04:44:22)

    I was wonderibg what size motor that was, too. I could use something like that in a hardtail frame I have kicking around. Gets me up and to work on time and it’s a blast to ride!!!

  76. Larry Fields says:

    This news story reminds me of the EPA’s inflated fuel efficiency ratings for cars in the recent past. If you wanted real numbers, you had to read Consumer Reports, which isn’t tainted by gummint funding. CR does their own testing, and it involves real cars on real roads.

    However in all fairness, it’s my understanding that the EPA has become more honest in this one specific area. Maybe the read CR!

  77. I pictured a turbine powered clock my self, not that old tech piston power one!

    what a joke on me….. I just picked up a new fridge and freezer and looked at the “star” ratings thinking I was doing a good thing….oh well…. I got the one I wanted any who.

    Tim L.

  78. Bill Thomson says:

    That little gas powered alarm clock is nothing compared to the alarm clock I used to use. Mine was powered by a big yellow Caterpillar diesel engine! And that’s the truth.

    When I was in my late teens I spent one fall worked on an oilrig in northern British Columbia. On chilly nights when the rig was drilling through hard rock and hands weren’t needed on the drilling floor, we would disappear into the pump room and sleep on top of the enormous pump that pumped the drilling mud down into the hole. The diesel engine in the room was so loud that you couldn’t hear someone yell from even a few feet away. We would just sleep away absorbing the warmth from the top of the pump with the noise from the engine almost deafening us. We would wake up the instant the engine slowed down and scramble up to the drilling floor to be ready to add a new piece of drill pipe. It was kind of a reverse alarm clock but it worked perfectly.

  79. FTM says:

    I can’t say or add anything to this discussion that hasn’t already been said or added. I might suggest a little kindness, consideration and compassion for a class of people that are obviously suffering from the most severe mental illness yet encountered by the human race.

  80. Rejean Gagnon says:

    I bought a laptop recently and it had a sticker on it which has the Energy Star logo on it – but then goes on to say that it only applies to some specific models. You can be sure it does not apply to my model, as I have a penchant for laptops with huge screens.

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