Light Bulb Standards Killed: Who's Running This Country, Barack Obama or Michele Bachmann?
Edison would be appalled; He liked progress./Public Domain
How many things can the Washington Times get wrong in one headline? They write Congress overturns incandescent light bulb ban, except it never was a ban, it was a schedule for increased efficiency, which the light bulb manufacturers were meeting with any number of technologies from compact fluorescent to LED to, yes, incandescent halogens. And it wasn't really overturned, but today Michele Bachmann gets the last laugh as the legislation promoting Bushbulbs (higher efficiency bulbs mandated under legislation passed by President Bush) gets delayed by a rider to the Budget Bill.
Michele has been on the case since 2008 with her Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, and she can now claim a huge victory in reducing America's energy independence, at increasing the amount of mercury and pollution in the air from coal plants, at inhibiting technological development in America as companies competed to develop better bulbs to meet the standards.
All those Republicans like Fred Upton and Joe Barton, who supported energy efficiency and the bill when it was brought in by President Bush, are thrilled. According to Politico,
After giving up in recent weeks on dozens of other riders aimed at stopping EPA rules because of opposition from Senate Democrats and the White House, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) told POLITICO that the light bulb rider was "going to be in there."
"Speaker [John] Boehner to Chairman [Fred] Upton to Chairman [Hal] Rogers, they all strongly support keeping it in," said Barton, who served as ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee in 2007 when the light bulb language got approved. "And it's a personal commitment because of their philosophy."
A democrat complained: "It's the power of Michele Bachmann and the presidential campaign"
Republicans for Environmental Protection are outraged, and are quoted in Politico:
In the real world, outside talk radio's echo chamber, lighting manufacturers such as GE, Philips and Sylvania have tooled up to produce new incandescent light bulbs that look and operate exactly the same as old incandescent bulbs, and give off just as much warm light," said Jim DiPeso, the group's policy director. "The only difference is they produce less excess heat and are therefore 30 percent more efficient. Same light, lower energy bills. What's not to like?
There is a lot not to like about compact fluorescents, which what are what all the Bushbulb haters complain about. But they are only one of the many technologies available. The whole issue has been a tissue of lies and distortions and phony panic. And now the only incentive to actually fix the situation is gone. They should be ashamed on both sides of the house for letting this happen.