The makers of fake gas log sets are doing everything they can to fend off federal regulations from the Energy Department, which says it has the authority to regulate the home  decor as heating equipment but doesn’t have plans to do anything right now.

“I’m not sure that we disagree that much,” said an Energy Department official.

But before the industry raised objections, the department planned to impose a limit on the amount of natural gas each of the sets could use, and companies fear such regulation could re-emerge. Some also dislike having to ensure their products are eligible for the exemption.

“They’ve basically said, ‘We’re not going to kill you now, we’re going to kill you later,’ ” said Jack Goldman, president of the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.

How long do you think it will be before the Energy Department decides to step in?

Meantime, for an example of regulations gone wild at the state level, check out Sara Burrows’ story about the state’s nutrition licensing board.

According to the Dietetics Board’s director Charla Burill, it’s a fine line between what kind of advice about nutrition an unlicensed person is free to give. 

Anyone can make a statement about what people in general should eat, she said in a telephone interview in April. What you can’t do is tell an individual or group of people what they should eat based on a specific health condition they are experiencing. 

For example, if someone has diabetes, an unlicensed person could not tell him to eat less sugar. If someone wanted to lose weight, an unlicensed person could not tell her to eat fewer carbohydrates. That, according to the board, is dietary “assessing and counseling,” a practice reserved for licensed professionals. 

Uh, okaaaaaaay.