New California energy regulations would remove certain plasmas, LCDs from store shelves


Looks like California is doing everything in its power to destroy the consumer electronics industry. That is to say a batch of newly proposed regulations would bar retailers from stocking energy inefficient TVs. The worst offenders? Plasma TVs, the kind popularized by very talented singers and athletes on shows like MTV Cribs.

The California Energy Commission wants to reduce the strain on the state’s delicate power grid, so it’s fingered energy-hungry TVs, which include LCDs and plasmas, as an easy-to-eliminate commodity. The Los Angeles Times wants you to know that LCDs consume 43 percent more electricity than tube TVs; it doesn’t mention that LCDs look 9,000 percent (approximately) better in the average living room than big tubes.

If passed, the regulations would first take effect in 2011, something that the Consumer Electronics Association—the same organization that puts together CES, which starts later this week—says would be devastating to the industry. If retailers can’t sell the TV sets that actually sell, in this economy, oh dear, then the whole industry is doomed. (Of course, you could just buy the TV from Amazon and ignore this whole debate.)

To put this in video game terms, it’s like Fable: do you want to be altruistic and save the environment and the energy grid, or do you want to be a selfish jerk and watch a 60-plus inch plasma after work? We worship Dionysus here, so you can guess our pick.