In 2007 Congress passed and President Bush signed a bill banning the incandescent light bulb.The phase-out of incandescent light is to begin with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and end in 2014 with the 40-watt. All light bulbs must use 25 percent to 30 percent less energy by 2014 and they must be 70 percent more efficient than they are today.
As a result Americans will have to use those compact florescent bulbs (CFL), the ones that contain small amounts of highly toxic mercury. The potential environmental hazard created by the mass introduction of billions of CFLs with few disposal sites and a public unfamiliar with the risks is great.
Additionally most incandescent bulbs are manufactured the United States, the CFLs are made in China, so this change throw more people onto the unemployment line. Although this may be balanced out by the new jobs in the eye glasses industry, because the CFL bulbs take are slow generate their maximum light output and even then the light they throw off is horrible and is insufficient to read by
Present House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. was a co-sponsor of the incandescent light ban, and because of that his ascension to the Chairmanship was strongly opposed by conservatives. But he calmed everyone down by promising hearing on reminding the ban as soon as he took office.
Upton has come under increased pressure in recent weeks, sources say, after failing to follow up on a promise he made after assuming the committee chairmanship that he would hold hearings on reversing the ban. After months of paralysis – and with the ban just six months from going into effect on January 1 – outrage was building among his own Republican committee colleagues and conservative activists, including a national petition campaign, FreeOurLight.org, sponsored by the influential Competitive Enterprise Institute.
“Freedom Action’s Free Our Light campaign has demonstrated that there is widespread public opposition to the light bulb ban,” says Myron Ebell, Director of Freedom Action at CEI. “We’re pleased that Chairman Upton has seen the light and congratulate him on his decision. We look forward to the House passing the bill to repeal the ban and its eventual enactment later this year.”
So Upton scheduled hearing but stacked the deck.
After Upton scheduled hearings this week featuring rent-seeking corporate fat cats that stood to benefit from the ban, anger boiled over and the chairman agreed not only to cancel the hearings but to bring up a bill repealing the ban. The View’s source says that the bill will likely be brought up under “suspension,” which means no amendments will be allowed and passage requires a two-thirds majority.
E&E News reporter Katie Howell is also reporting that Upton “he is working with Texas Republicans Joe Barton and Mike Burgess on language repealing the light bulb standards.”
“We’re very close to seeing an agreement emerge and happen,” Upton told reporters at a conservative blogger briefing hosted by the Heritage Foundation.
Upton’s original bill was supported by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Bush, it was not an outright ban, nor was it a stand alone bill. Instead the bill was the typical progressive sneak a small part in the the larger 2007 energy law it didn’t specifically ban the incandescent bulb, it eventually phased out bulbs that use more than 40 watts.
This would have effectively banned Edison’s invention which is the choice of 85 percent of American bulb purchases.
The ban has been mostly covered up by the green mainstream media, and consumers were only just learning of the ban as bulbs have begun disappearing from shelves. In the meantime, bulb manufacturers had already eliminated hundreds of incandescent plants in the United States (the last plant closed in Winchester, Va. last year) in preparation for the ban – off-shoring the jobs to China where the more expensive, replacement compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) could be manufactured.
The ban had been supported by big corporations like General Electric and Philips who saw a an opportunity to use government to monopolize a new, more expensive market while transferring jobs to China to earn higher margins. And I am sure that GE Chairman Jeff Immelt’s long term support of progressive politics had nothing to do with the fact that we are being forced to switch to a more expensive product with a bigger profit margin. Its just a strange coincidence.
Republicans – led by Texas Rep. Joe Barton together with fellow Texan Michael Burgess and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. – introduced bulb restoration legislation immediately upon the GOP taking over the House this year. Republicans overwhelmingly support bringing back the bulb, while global-warming-obsessed Democrats say making bulbs illegal is crucial to saving the planet. Ironically, saving the earth has meant destroying union plant jobs.
“We don’t think the consumer needs to pay $4 a light bulb, and we don’t think the federal government should tell people what kind of lighting to use in their homes,” Rep. Barton told Fox News this week.
On the bright side (no pun intended) Upton is now guaranteeing that the House will get to vote on a bill to repeal the ban. While the liberal media will probably continue to ignore the story, hopefully the word will spread on the internet and Congress will realize that voting against the Edison’s light bulb will be hazardous for their reelection health.