Feinstein To USA: Watch TV Cali-Style

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Nov 19, 2009  |  Updated 1:49 PM PDT
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Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. questions Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearing before the committee, Tuesday, July 14, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

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As goes California, so goes the country. 

This time it's the state's new television mandate that will take away choice and quality for viewers.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein thinks a new California plan is such a good idea, she is telling the Obama administration to use it for the entire country.

On Wednesday, California regulators approved a ban on power-hungry TVs starting in 2011.  It is a first-in-the-nation mandate to lower electricity demand.

The vote was unanimous. The California Energy Commission voted to require all new televisions up to 58 inches to be more energy efficient. The rules get even tougher in 2013.

Feinstein wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  In it she said Congress authorized his department to set energy standards for household appliances, but that the department has not done so for televisions.

The Associated Press reported energy consumption for appliances with energy standards has steadily declined over the past few decades, while the energy consumed by televisions has risen.

Right now, only a quarter of TVs on the market would make the cut.  Manufacturers say all flat screens 55 inches or larger will no longer be able to be sold here in California and if Feinstein has her way that would be true for the rest of the country as well.

Of course this is all about being green.

Other manufacturers said implementing a power standard will cripple innovation, limit consumer choice and harm California retailers because consumers could simply buy TVs out of state or order them on line.

Industry representatives also have said the standards would force manufacturers to make televisions that have poorer picture quality and fewer features than those sold elsewhere in the U.S.

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