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Hot fight, cool TVs! Golden boils over at Squadron’s ‘asinine’ bill

A Brownstone Brooklyn lawmaker’s bid to make televisions more energy efficient is making a Bay Ridge colleague boil over with rage.

On a record-setting 103-degree day on Tuesday, state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) grew overheated when asked about a bill by state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights) that would mandate efficiency standards beginning in 2011 and even tougher requirements in 2013.

The bill would mirror legislation already in place for air conditioners and refrigerators — yet Golden called it “the most asinine legislation I’ve seen in years.”

“It’s definitely another liberal overreach by the government,” continued the Bay Ridgite, who has seen his share of asinine legislation in his decade in Albany. “I wish they’d put their minds to better and appropriate legislation. This has no place in this economy.”

New televisions, such as plasma, high definition, liquid crystal display varieties, are watt-wasters, using as much as three times as much energy as older ones — and Squadron said his bill simply seeks to take pressure off the power grid.

He urged Golden to chill out.

“It’s disappointing to hear that Sen. Golden cares more about overseas TV manufacturers than about Brooklynites who are struggling with sky-high energy bills and brownouts in this scorching heat,” Squadron said.

Similar legislation has already passed in California and has been introduced in Massachusetts, signaling the beginning of a “national trend,” according to Squadron, whose bill affects only TVs manufactured after Jan. 1, 2011.

Consumers would not be forced to replace their existing devices under Squadron’s bill or a similar one that is moving through the Assembly.

But Golden said that the legislation would hurt businesses, which in turn will pass along higher prices to consumers. Moreover, he warned, the law could further alienate manufacturers from the region — and the country.

“The last thing in the world you want to do is impose sanctions,” Golden advised. “What you want to do is use tax credits to encourage businesses to set up shop here.”

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