Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our efficient, well-run government

Phony products by phony companies get government Energy Star approval.

Fifteen phony products — including a gasoline-powered alarm clock — won a label from the government certifying them as energy efficient in a test of the federal "Energy Star" program.
Investigators concluded the program is "vulnerable to fraud and abuse."
Really? It's "vulnerable to fraud and abuse?" No kidding!
But the General Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, said Energy Star doesn't verify claims made by manufacturers — which might explain the gasoline-powered alarm clock, not to mention a product billed as an air room cleaner that was actually a space heater with a feather duster and fly strips attached, and a computer monitor that won approval within 30 minutes of submission.
So, in a program involving tax credits and rebates (i.e. taxpayer money), the government doesn't bother to actually verify the claims those credits and rebates are based on. Even worse they don't even bother to find out what it is they're certifying!
"EPA officials confirmed that because the energy-efficiency information was plausible, it was likely that no one read the product description information," GAO said.
And they lie about it!
According to the GAO, the EPA and Energy Department told investigators in briefings that although the program is based on manufacturers' certifying their products meet efficiency standards, that efficiency is ensured through aftermarket tests and self-policing.
Remember, this is the same government that is now in charge of our health-care system. Be afraid, be very afraid.

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