California bans power-hog TVs. Will the rest of the country follow?

Yet again the Golden State has set a de facto national environmental policy. It came this time when officials moved on Nov. 18 to ban sales of all big-screen TVs in California after 2010 if the sets don't meet state energy efficiency requirements. The ban has been brewing for several months now as the California Energy Commission (CEC) has debated a mandate that would require a 33% improvement in energy efficiency for all TVs sold starting Jan. 1, 2011, and a 50% improvement for sets sold starting Jan. 1, 2013.

These mandates would force off the market all current-generation plasma TVs with screens over 40 inches. LCD (liquid crystal display) sets tend to be more efficient, but many of the current models also wouldn't meet the new requirements. In short: Hasta la vista, Señor Plasma!