"Feds Approving Bogus Products as 'Energy-Efficient,' Investigation Finds"

This is pretty funny. Too bad that it were such a sad example of government's inability to determine worthwhile products. If your money isn't at stake, why do a good job? And we want these guys to tell us where health care dollars will be efficiently spent?

The federal government has been slapping "energy-efficient" ratings on products that don't even exist -- including a bogus space heater with a duster stuck to it and an alarm clock supposedly powered by gasoline.

These fake products were submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy for approval as part of an undercover investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

The office wanted to see how easily the feds could be duped, since the Energy Star program used to identify products as energy savers serves as a guide to businesses looking for such modern marvels and the basis for millions of dollars in incentivizing tax credits -- including $300 million from the stimulus.

The products fooled the federal government three out of four times. Of the 20 products submitted for approval, 15 were given the thumbs up. GAO reported that the federal government generally did not ask for critical evidence to back up its claims about how energy-efficient -- or real -- its bogus products were. . . .

With Obama's talk today down in North Carolina to tout stimulus funds:

When President Barack Obama comes to Charlotte today to tour Celgard, a battery-parts maker that has received $49 million in stimulus money, he's sure to tout how government money will put people to work.

He's visiting a company that hasn't yet spent any of its stimulus money, according to federal documents. But his visit highlights the administration's focus on using stimulus money to create green jobs and push energy efficiency.

Celgard wouldn't talk Thursday about its plans or the specifics of its grant. The governor's office has said the money will help create about 300 jobs over the next five years. . . .

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