Politicians sometimes say things that they don't believe. Reporters really should know this. That is why NPR seriously misinformed listeners when it told them that Republicans oppose regulations on incandescent light bulbs intended to reduce energy use because they believe it is an excess of big government.
This is their claimed motivation. They may be opposing this regulation for entirely different reasons. For example, they may not care at all about the future of the planet, they may have gotten campaign contributions from companies who will see their profits reduced by these regulations or they may just want to oppose anything that President Obama supports. However the main point is that NPR does not know the motives of these politicians and it should not imply that it does.