Skip to comments.Texas aglow with effort to save the incandescent bulb
Posted on 07/11/2011 7:28:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Reporting from Washington It doesn't have the ring of "Remember the Alamo," but a new battle cry has gone up in Texas: "Remember the incandescent bulb."
Texas has become the first state seeking to skirt a federal law that phases out old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in favor of more efficient lamps a move that has emerged as a shining example of Republicans' resolve to strike down what many view as excessive federal regulation.
Texas hopes to get around the law with a measure recently signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry declaring that incandescent bulbs if made and sold only in Texas do not involve interstate commerce and therefore are not subject to federal regulation.
"I think that Texans as a whole are tired of the federal government trying to micromanage our lives," said George Lavender, a Republican state representative who sponsored the legislation.
Critics of the federal mandate hope the Texas action will spur Congress to repeal the light bulb rules or prompt other states to adopt similar laws. The Republican-controlled U.S. House on Monday is expected to take up a repeal measure sponsored by a Texas congressman. Efforts also are underway in Pennsylvania and South Carolina to follow Texas' lead.
.... "I just believe that we should be able to buy what we want," Lavender said of the Texas law. "I've had calls from people in every state, and even in foreign countries, saying how much they appreciate this bill."
"This is about more than just energy consumption, it is about personal freedom,'' said Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-Texas.), who's leading the repeal effort in the House. He recently cheered his state's action, declaring on Fox News: "I do thank the Lord that I live in Texas."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Well, it is excessive federal regulation. Incandescent bulbs have their place just as CFGs and LEDs and halogens do. I despise do-gooder environmentalists who don’t look past the ends of their noses.
God Bless Texas!
Excessive? Only if you think $1.75 trillion cost of compliance is excessive.
I would hate it less if it were actually "do-gooder" legislation.
This was the result of political favors to enviro-leftists and corporatism on behalf of companies like GE and Phillips, who stood to gain financially from the legislation.
.....”Despite the quiet heartburn that the bill is now generating in some moderate Republican offices, GOP leaders are still driving it forward, in hopes that Mondays House floor debate will generate campaign talking points for tea party candidates across the countryincluding Bachmann.
And in a sign that all this has generated concern in the highest quarters in Washington, Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Friday held a press call with former Republican Sen. John Warner, R-Va., in hopes of shoring up support for the law.
Right now many families around the country are struggling to pay their energy bills and leaders in the house want to roll back these standards that will save families money, said Chu.
Under the current law, Youll still be able to buy halogen incandescent bulbs. Theyll look and feel the same, but the only difference is that theyll save consumers money, he said.
Of tea partierss philosophical argument that the law would deprive consumers of the choice of lighting products, Chu said, these standards are not taking choices away, its putting money back in the pockets of American families.
Warner, who now lobbies his former colleagues on energy issues, said rolling back the law would freeze up business growth. “If I were a financier trying to help the small business community, I would say, ‘wait a minuteif congress is going to start stripping out provisions of this landmark legislation, then theres no regulatory certaintyand Im not going to lend you the money.’
Indeed. I use CFLs where they provide a cost advantage. Everywhere else, incandescents are more cost-effective based on our usage patterns.
While I applaud the effort, I don’t think it will hold up. If the Supreme Court can hold that a farmer growing wheat on his own land, for his own consumption, can be considered to impact interstate commerce simply because it meant he did not need to buy the wheat from someone else, it will be a snap for them to decide that this law would mean that Texans would not need to buy fluorescent bulbs from vendors in other states, and would thus impact interstate commerce.
Total grandstanding. I'm sure Perry's lawyers have heard of Wickard v Fillburn and Raich v Gonzalez. I like me some incandescent light bulbs, but this effort is destined to fail. Good PR, I guess. But ignorant on the law.
In Raich, even SCALIA reaffirmed Wickard's holding that the interstate commerce clause covers some activities that are not interstate (or for that matter, commercial.)
Why even applaud the effort? Do we think the Perry team is ignorant of Wickard? If not, then why do it? PR stunt? I think this sort of thing creates false impressions out there about a)the scope of the commerce clause and b) nullification, two fights the states have already lost, and will lose again if they try it.
I’m in Texas, and I’ve replaced most of my incandecent bulbs with the CFLs. That was my choice, made easier by the fact that last summer the local grocery chain had them for free (with the coupon). I’m quite certain that there was a federal subsidy behind that - TANSTAAFL, you know. Anyhow, prior to that I only had put them in master bedroom, master bath, kitchen and living room - areas of high usage where the higher cost of the bulbs would be worth it.
Note that these bulbs are no panacea - for one thing, they contain mercury, and if they break there are warnings all over the container about how to clean it up. I still have several of the bulbs that burnt out, because you’re supposed to give them to a recycling center that can handle the mercury...and I have yet to find one. The second thing is that these bulbs don’t have nearly the promised lifetime - they aren’t meant to be turned on and off like an incandecent, and doing so significantly shortens their life...meaning that they’re more expensive than it seems on the surface (yet another thing that the green weenies haven’t thought about).
I utterly RESENT the idea that people nearly 2,000 miles away seem to think that they know what is best for me (and everyone else), and that they are enforcing their do-gooder nonsense literally at the point of a gun, just like every other regulation out there (and before someone says, “but they’re not coming into anyone’s house with a gun to get rid of incandecents” - that’s not what I mean. I mean it in the sense of what would happen to a company that continued to produce incandecents for interstate sale, and disregarded court orders to cease...the guys with guns would be there before long). This country is about freedom and liberty - and the purpose of government is to secure our liberties, NOT to constantly tell us what to do and how to think like perpetual parents of perpetual children.
I use them in places where I need to drag out an eight foot step ladder to change bulbs. However they emit a horrible oder when they are burning out. Have you had that experience?
Next think ya know those Texans will start allowing their people to have toilets that flush properly.
Wickard is ripe for a challenge. Somewhere at some time there will be a case of the feds relying on Wickard for something so absurd that even the semi-statist Supreme Court will have no choice but to overturn that abomination. In any case, it’ll NEVER get tossed out if we continue to meekly accept it. Better to go out on one’s feet than on one’s knees, I always say. Besides, sooner or later some state is going to grow the cajones to tell the feds to shove it, and if the feds don’t like it then they can send in soldiers...in full view of the world. The feds will have to back down, and that will be the beginning of the (hopefully peaceful) Second American Revolution.
“Next think ya know those Texans will start allowing their people to have toilets that flush properly.”
That should be next on the list...but how do you petition the legislature on that one? “Uh, my scat is too large to flush, can we get real toilets back?” Somehow or other, I don’t see many people writing to their legislators or senators, or signing petitions to that effect. Something would have to happen to a legislator or the governor, who would likely talk about “large numbers of my constituents who are P.O.’d (well, maybe that’s not quite accurate) about this issue....”
The government nannies will not give consumers “the right to choose” when it comes to light bulbs. Bravo for Texas...again!
I use them in the few fixtures that are not dimmable / 3-way where the light is always on during our waking hours.
When they first came out, I tried them and hated the "office" look they provided. Then they changed them; and made the light more in line with incandescent bulbs. However, in my experience, they do not last any longer than incandescent bulbs. We now find out that if they are stored on their sides, CFLs do not last as long. Who knows when they are stored on their sides before we even bring them home? And they do not offer much in the way of 3-way bulbs, either.
Every time I go to Lowe's or Home Depot I pick up another box of incandescents to add to the stockpile.
I use the rat tail bulbs in some areas, by choice.
Who knows, this could be the beginning of the right to buy what we want.
You're so right. Because when they do that, only those who can "grease the right political wheels" will succeed. And Americans instinctively feel that deep down in their bones.
Far from it. It was re-affirmed as recently as 2005, in Raich v Gonzalez, where Justice Scalia concurred with the majority in re-affirming Wickard.
Commerce clause jurisprudence is firmly ensconsed, with a long train of cases going back to the early years of the US Constitution. Wickard isn't going anywhere, and I suspect Perry and his lawyers know it.
It doesn’t matter. If they rule against it, the order should be IGNORED and the TEXAS bulbs should be built anyway.
Bullies never stop until they get the punch in the nose.
As for things the feds could do to make life difficult for Texas,,, Texas could sned Rangers to sieze and foreclose on federal properties in the state.
It’s time to stand up and resist DC,,,Period. The game cannot any longer be, “DC makes a rule,, states resist,,and DC Supreme court rules against state”. The state cannot win. It’s time for open defiance against the budding dictatorship.
I only wish they could have made a stand against Lo-Flo toilets.
They still could. Everytime I have to plunge a lo-flo I fantasize having a democrat by the legs and plunging it with his/her head.
Yet...the steps one must take to protect themselves from mercury contamination should a bulb break...or just disposing of one are to my way of thinking a real environmental threat.
How about all those bulbs with their mercury accumulating in a waste facility over the years? What about that environmental threat? Stupid idiots must have stock in the bulb companies.
It would be one thing if the bulbs performed as well as incandescents, and were the same price or even marginally more, but they are MUCH more in cost, and a distinct decrease in illumination capability.
I have two charts, one un-altered from Lawrence Livermore Labs showing the patterns of energy usage. It is one of the best graphs I have ever seen.
The second chart is an alteration of the first one, popping out the residential usage and enlarging it so it is more easily seen. On this, I have taken the pipeline for electricity that leads into the residential sector, but a
This one shows a portion, the residential one with residential lighting highlighted. The Tan colored pipe going into the residential sector below is residential electricity. The red line shows how much of that pipe is used for lighting currently. The green line shows how much residential electricity would be used if ALL lighting was CFL.
Using CFL bulbs to save electricity as mandated by the government is the same as putting a magnetic ribbon for some cause on the back of your car.
If people want to pay the extra money on bulbs and accept the lack of performance to save energy in their household, I have no problem with that. But having the government make us do it is nanny-statism.
What great graphs.
Dunno if it's just me, but this posting has some sort of popup-type thingy showing up demanding a username and password from "idisk.me.com". Never had that happen before, and I have a very good popup and malware blocker. Just FYI and hit the [Esc] key a couple of times to make it go away.
This is a futile effort, as the feds already have a scheme so that all *new* buildings, and lamp appliances like overhead fans with lights, as well as light sockets must conform to federal demands.
It’s already very difficult to get an overhead fan with a light that is not a dim bulb. So the federals are using a “multi-pronged attack” through appliance manufacturers against the public to force compliance.
And though the rumor that existing buildings cannot be sold without conforming to federal energy standards is *not* true, the feds are now requiring power companies replace existing power meters with others that can be remote controlled.
The purpose of this is that if someone is using more energy than the federal government believes they should, they can direct the power company to limit the amount of energy they get from their power lines.
No mistake, the federals are determined to force this on the public, and they don’t care who they hurt or abuse. And the attack is from so many different directions that even if somebody thwarts one of their attacks, the others will still force their whims on us.
...the authority to enact laws necessary and proper for the regulation of interstate commerce is not limited to laws governing intrastate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce. Where necessary to make a regulation of interstate commerce effective, Congress may regulate even those intrastate activities that do not themselves substantially affect interstate commerce.
J. Scalia, concurring in Gonzales v Raich
Jesse Ventura, when he was running for governor said that you should be able to wake up in the morning and not notice the government.
I notice it as soon as I wake up and go to the loo.
Your post brings up some interesting points but your conclusion — “This is a futile effort” — is wrong.
It’s never a futile effort to fight tyranny. The fight itself is worth it, win or lose.
That's why I favor secession. We have our own ports. We have our own power grid. We have our own energy sources. We just need to build our own army and set up our own monetary system and we'd be in business.
And once we're in business, not only could we give liberals the finger, we could show how great a pro-business, pro-growth, pro-freedom economy looks without the nanny state lording it over all of us and taking their cut off the top.
It would embarrass all these socialist governments.
Trouble is that if you fight the wrong fight, you lose even if you win.
A great example is the border fence. Every villain who supported and still supports unrestricted immigration had “helpful” ideas, all of which would delay a fence or make it prohibitively expensive or both. And they attacked from every angle.
“You have to do ‘x’ first”, “An expensive *virtual* fence is the way to go”, what we need are airships!”, “go after those that hire illegals first”, etc. and etc. Every idea in the world but building a fence now. And many of them declared themselves the strongest believers in stopping illegal immigration! Liars all.
In this case, if the battle to produce incandescent bulbs is won, we still have to fight the battle against the federal coercion of the light bulb and socket and appliance manufacturers, and fight the battle of the power companies forced to comply, and fight the battle of home builders *required* to make non-incandescent bulb homes, etc. and etc.
So instead of fighting to legalize light bulbs, what really needs to be done is to attack the heart of the beast: the EPA. Until that dragon is defeated, it will continue to crank out fights one after the other, until we lose.
Let’s fight tyranny by fighting the tyrant, not just its endless supply of flunkies and laws.
I basically agree with you that this is just a symbolic victory... but sometimes symbolism is very important.
This is a shot across the bow of the EPA mothership.
Of course it won’t bring the ship down... but it very well might be “the shot heard round the country”.
And not only that, it provides a way for every Texan to participate in the revolution, just by going down to the store and buying a light bulb.
Mere symbolism? Again, yes. But very powerful symbolism it is.
The other bulbs are actually very dangerous when disposed of...mercury is the hazard...however, people dispose of those bulbs like any other bulb...Perry is saving the incandescent bulbs for those manufactures in Texas...
Well, this is a kick in the wallet. Ive been buying real lightbulbs for over a year. I was going to make good money when the only place to get them was from those of us who stocked up.
I’m getting it too.
Yes, that’s right. Rick Santelli. And this is much bigger than that.
As for comparing this to the border fence and those faux “supporters” who are actually trying to kill it... this isn’t that. These aren’t EPA supporters trying to save the EPA by coming up with complicating schemes for controlling the EPA.
This is a simple, stand-alone resolution: Texas is allowed to make and sell these bulbs to Texans.
It’s a shot across the bow of the EPA. It’s a shot-heard-round-the-country.
You are welcome...good thread!
House Republican leadership kills light bulb freedom with parliamentary maneuver guaranteed to fail.
“House Republicans brought up the bill under a suspension of the rules, which requires two-thirds of voting members to support it. That means even though a majority might support it, it is unlikely to be approved Tuesday in light of Democratic opposition.”
So, did they do this knowing that on the House would pass it, and the Senate wouldn’t, and Obama would veto it even if the Senate passed it?
Or does the Republican leadership secretly support the Bush-passed light bulb ban?
36 Republicans originally voted in favor of the light bulb ban in the House, with 5 not voting. Those with asterisks by their names are no longer in the House.
In the House:
Yea AL-2 Everett, Terry [R]*
Yea AL-3 Rogers, Michael [R]
Yea AL-4 Aderholt, Robert [R]
Yea CT-4 Shays, Christopher [R]*
Yea DE-0 Castle, Michael [R]*
Yea FL-5 Brown-Waite, Virginia [R]*
Yea FL-13 Buchanan, Vern [R]
Yea FL-18 Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R]
Yea IL-10 Kirk, Mark [R]
Yea IL-15 Johnson, Timothy [R]
Yea IL-18 LaHood, Ray [R]*
Yea MD-1 Gilchrest, Wayne [R]*
Yea MD-6 Bartlett, Roscoe [R]
Yea MI-3 Ehlers, Vernon [R]*
Yea MI-9 Knollenberg, Joseph [R]*
Yea MI-10 Miller, Candice [R]
Yea MN-3 Ramstad, James [R]*
Yea MO-8 Emerson, Jo Ann [R]
Yea NE-1 Fortenberry, Jeffrey [R]
Yea NJ-2 LoBiondo, Frank [R]
Yea NJ-3 Saxton, H. James [R]*
Yea NJ-4 Smith, Christopher [R]
Yea NJ-7 Ferguson, Michael [R]*
Yea NY-23 McHugh, John [R]*
Yea NY-25 Walsh, James [R]*
Yea NY-29 Kuhl, John [R]*
Yea NC-3 Jones, Walter [R]
Yea NC-8 Hayes, Robin [R]*
Yea PA-6 Gerlach, Jim [R]
Yea PA-15 Dent, Charles [R]
Yea PA-19 Platts, Todd [R]
Yea SC-4 Inglis, Bob [R]*
Yea VA-10 Wolf, Frank [R]
Yea WA-8 Reichert, Dave [R]
Yea WV-2 Capito, Shelley [R]
Yea WI-6 Petri, Thomas [R]
Not Voting CA-44 Calvert, Ken [R]
Not Voting IN-4 Buyer, Stephen [R]*
Not Voting IN-5 Burton, Dan [R]
Not Voting NC-10 McHenry, Patrick [R]
Not Voting TX-3 Johnson, Samuel [R]