People upset about the government telling them what light bulbs and toilets to buy may not realize that the iron fist of socialism has also been controlling what refrigerators they can have, too. For decades.

And so it went more or less unnoticed a few weeks ago when the Department of Energy announced new efficiency standards for refrigerators that will cut their energy use by 25 percent.

It’s the latest in a string of ever-tightening energy standards since the 1970s that have led to both gains of nearly 75 percent in energy efficiency, and lower prices, even as Americans increasingly move toward larger refrigerators, as this graph from the Appliance Standards Awareness Project shows:

What’s more, a good number of refrigerators are still manufactured here in the U.S., including plants in Indiana, Iowa and Ohio.

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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