published Saturday, July 16th, 2011

New bulb standards switched off

In a vote that put political expediency over energy efficiency, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday to save the incandescent light bulb, at least for another year. It approved an amendment to withhold funding to implement a law that would eventually require the elimination of inefficient bulbs in favor of energy-saving products.

The obvious merits of such a switch were pretty much ignored. Those who argued that the government has no right to tell people what bulbs to use carried the day.

Conservatives might relish the triumph, but it is a hollow one. There are major, proven efficiencies and savings to be gained from replacing the familiar incandescent bulbs with new technology.

Though the new law did not specify which kinds of bulbs must be used, the standards are such that only the compact fluorescent bulb or light-emitting diode lamps likely would meet the new requirements over time. They do cost more, but use significantly less energy. The savings once new bulbs were in widespread use could be considerable, perhaps as much as $80 or so a year per U.S. household.

Never mind that Republican President George W. Bush strongly endorsed and then signed the original energy savings bill, or that widespread use of efficient bulbs could save the nation about $6 billion a year by 2015 when new guidelines would take full effect. In an almost straight party-line vote, Republicans, who generally say that the nation spends too much, voted to allow Americans to waste money for a bit longer on an inefficient product easily replaced by an efficient one.

There’s nothing wrong with a law that promotes more efficient light bulbs. The vote to prevent enforcement of it is proof that many legislators remain in the dark when it comes to the massive benefits of energy conservation for the nation, and our environment.

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SeaMonkey said...'s very much about telling people what to buy and what not to buy...whether it's lightbulbs, health insurance, what if george bush signed the bill..he also signed a bill committing 40% of the corn produced in this country to ethanol....

now you like george bush was a country club republican.....he was no conservative. he spent like a democrat in his second term. you libs should really like him.

it very much matters that it cost a time when people are makng less and are being hammered by the economy.....this is a scam. an example of how lobbyists influence policy. the higher costing bulbs are making the companies more money that produce them and certain politicians are getting rich from making sure it's passed into law. crooks.

July 16, 2011 at 12:35 p.m.
hambone said...

Does this mean the Light Bulb Police are not going to be coming to my house? Darn, all that money I saved on light bulbs and power by buying the flourecents was just a waste of time.

July 16, 2011 at 1:51 p.m.
billyhopkins said...

Don't Tread on Me...really.

July 16, 2011 at 3:33 p.m.
rolando said...

Hopefully, you don't drop one of those fluorescent nasties when you change back to the old ones, hambone. If you do, you have not only taken a chance of poisoning yourself and family, but you have polluted the the required warning label on all such bulbs and what to do should breakage occur. Oh, and beware the EPA Police.

Really good, those mandated bulbs...yeah, right. Anything other kind is out-of-sight expensive. Personally, I have been laying in a stock [hoarding] Edison's bulbs since the law was announced a couple years ago. That and ammo.

July 16, 2011 at 3:49 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Reducing over-all energy consumption is one of the best and easiest things we can do for the US economy. Over time our options will diminish. We should be moving fast to make these simple changes now before brown-outs become part of our lifestyle.

July 16, 2011 at 4:19 p.m.
hambone said...

Rolando, whos been biowing smoke up your pipe? I'm a retired electrician and I have broken more flourecent lamps than you will ever see!

July 16, 2011 at 6:45 p.m.
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