Skip to comments.Lightbulb Rules Spark Political Fight (Bachmann wants repeal of 2007 law)
Posted on 06/27/2011 7:24:46 AM PDT by Libloather
Lightbulb Rules Spark Political Fight
However, new legislation may not change what manufacturers are doing in creating more efficient bulbs that use halogen, LED or other new technology.
By Rob Lever, Agence France-Presse
June 27, 2011
With a January deadline looming on a U.S. law mandating energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, some political forces don't want to turn out the lights. More than a dozen Republican lawmakers are backing efforts to repeal the 2007 law that requires bulbs to consume less energy. Meanwhile Texas has enacted a law that would exempt itself from the federal requirement, and other states are debating similar legislation.
Some consumers have also begun hoarding the old incandescent bulbs based on an erroneous fear that these will be banned starting January 1 and consumers will be forced to buy compact fluorescent or other new types of bulbs. The law does not ban incandescent bulbs, but creates new standards for them, basically requiring increased efficiency, so that the bulbs with a lighting equivalent of 100 watts consume just 72 watts.
Still, repeal backers including at least two Republican presidential candidates argue the law is an intrusion on Americans' freedom of choice. Activists have launched petition drives calling the rules an example of a "nanny" state. "The government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy," said Representative Michele Bachmann, who is running for president, in introducing her "Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act" earlier this year. And she told a party gathering in June: "President Bachmann will allow you to buy any light bulb you want in the United States of America."
A separate bill has been introduced by Representative Joe Barton, joined by 14 other congressmen including Ron Paul, another presidential contender. Barton said the 2007 law has resulted in "Washington-mandated layoffs in the middle of a desperate recession" and added "Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to people who work for their own paychecks and earn their own living."
A similar bill has introduced been introduced in the Senate by Republicans Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
Barton and others argue that the new law -- which was signed by Republican president George W. Bush -- would force consumers to switch to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), most of which are not made in the United States. Additionally, critics of the law claim CFLs contain toxic mercury, cannot be dimmed, and produce an inferior light.
A survey of U.S. consumers by the lighting firm Osram Sylvania showed 28% were worried about the demise of the traditional bulb and 13% may start hoarding 100-watt bulbs. But the survey also showed 59% of respondents "eager to use more energy efficient lighting solutions," the company said.
Industry representatives say there are public misconceptions about the law, including the notion of a ban on incandescents. "Consumers need to know they will still have incandescent bulbs, they don't need to hoard bulbs," said Kyle Pitsor, vice president of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which represents lighting producers. "The new incandescent bulbs will save them money and they will have more choices than ever before."
In Texas, Governor Rick Perry on June 17 signed a bill that exempts the state from the federal law, as long as incandescent light bulbs are manufactured and sold within the state. Similar legislation is pending in South Carolina and Pennsylvania. In Arizona, a bill passed by the legislature was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer, who said it could not be implemented because within the state there are no mining or processing plants for tungsten, which is needed for incandescent bulbs.
Industry representatives contend the state laws may be counterproductive, adding it was unlikely that a manufacturer would establish a plant just for one state.
Kim Freeman of GE Appliances & Lighting said the various state efforts could lead to "a patchwork of inconsistent standards across the nation that would mean increased manufacturing and distribution costs, higher prices for consumers and lost sales for retailers."
Larry Lauk, spokesman for the American Lighting Association, said any new legislation may not change what manufacturers are doing in creating more efficient bulbs that use halogen, LED or other new technology.
"Manufacturers have already moved down the road," he said.
They'll move back.
On the street we call it a "cluster f***".
And God said, “Let there be light.”
And Texas said, “Amen!”
Anybody want to buy this Texan’s supply?
You can buy 100 watt bulbs cheap by the case on the internet (ebay, amazon, etc).
I remember back in the day when they took phosphates out of Tide and other detergents. Our clothes were never really clean after that.
“Against this back drop the Industry fought against any out right prohibition of phosphate in detergents. There was also particular concern that diverse local regulations would create a patchwork of maximum phosphate standards among communities and states. The Industry tried to avoid any conflict by voluntarily agreeing to reduce detergent phosphorus concentrations to 8.7% in 1970 (Duthie 1972). This was considered only a first step by the general public. The Industry tried to prevent (or at least deter until an adequate phosphate-substitute was identified) legislation against phosphates in detergents more or less simultaneously on 1) a national level arguing scientific and policy grounds, and 2) on more local levels arguing against the legality of municipal and state phosphate bans or restrictions.”
Yeah like the new lemony natural ant sprays. The micro- pissants trying to attack my sugar in my kitchen laugh at it.
“Governor Jan Brewer, who said it could not be implemented because within the state there are no mining or processing plants for tungsten, which is needed for incandescent bulbs.”
Nice BS excuse. Federal hack.
Any manufacturer who has “moved down the road” is an idiot. In a capitalistic society the consumer is the driver.
Research into new technology is what a manufacturer does on the side and he tests the consumer’s responses on a small scale. If the consumer response is good, he ramps up production. If the old product falls out of favor and the manufacture can no longer make money, he drops it.
Buggy whip production didn’t stop with the invention of the automobile, it effectively stopped when there was no longer enough demand to make it profitable. (Buggy whips are still made but they’re a specialty item)
Bravely speaking truth to popular fiction, Bachmann has more courage (and common sense) than the rest of the current field of announced GOPer candidates, combined.
In fact, she can be referred to as the ONE BRIGHT LIGHT among the Republicans.
There are probably still a lot of people that don’t realize that incandescents are being outlawed.
This needs to be shouted far and wide.
If even half the country realizes that this is a huge encroachment and has the attitude that “the government SHOULDN’T be able to do this”, perhaps they’ll start examining some of the other things the ruling class is foisting on us.
Here in Maine, where it’s dark at 4 PM in winter, I’ve already stockpiled enough 100 watt light bulbs to last me until the end of World War 7.
Still, I intend to buy more, and also more 75 and 60 watt bulbs.
The “old fashioned” light bulbs also help to heat up a small room, an added benefit in a cold climate.
They'll be labeled '72 watt bulbs' - no?
They need to switch their label measurement to lumens with verbiage like “100W equivalent” until people get used to comparing lumens to lumens.
Oh yes they will. They will move where the money is. I hope and pray this law is repealed. I’ve already had enough with low flow toilets. Thanks to government taking away our rights to own a toilet that actually works.
Why? I might need to have one, someday.
Tell the nanny state to get the $^##$% out of my life!
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