Introducing the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act

Posted by: ST on April 11, 2008 at 8:39 am

A bright (pun intended) idea from Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (h/t:see-dubya):

Congress slipped into the recent energy bill a mandate that within four years the everyday incandescent bulb is to disappear from the shelves of your local grocery and hardware stores. In it’s place? The fluorescent bulb that for years many consumers have avoided.

The list of complaints about fluorescent bulbs is long. Some are bothered by the higher price, others by the harsher light, others by their lack of adaptability to household fixtures, and still others by concerns over their mercury content.

So on what grounds has Washington justified this unwanted intrusion into our lives?

They say that these high-mercury bulbs will reduce the strain on our energy supply, reduce the carbon footprint, and lead to greater energy efficiency. But there’s little to no evidence to back up their claims.

Congress has intruded on your shopping list on a whim; in favor of a fad.

Well, that doesn’t sit well with me and I know it doesn’t sit well with you.

America was founded on the idea that people are far better able to make their own decisions than the government.

So I’ve [introduced] the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which makes a simple challenge to Big Brother: either Congress’ own independent investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), marshals evidence to back up the assumptions behind the light bulb ban – or Congress repeals the mandate.

In other words, I’m asking Congress to actually be – hold your breath – accountable to the people. If they are going to intrude into our lives, and control our most basic decisions, the least they can do is have enough respect for the American people to back-up their claims.

Specifically, my bill would ask the GAO to study whether the ban:

1.) leads to lower costs for consumers,
2.) leads to reduced carbon emissions, and
3.) does not lead to a health risk, particularly for vulnerable populations, like those in nursing homes, day care centers, schools, and hospitals.

It’s nice to see that true conservatism isn’t dead in the House after all :D

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12 Responses to “Introducing the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act”

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  1. Lorica says:

    still others by concerns over their mercury content.

    AMEN!!! Does it make any sense to save a couple of kilowatts, and then spend millions cleaning up our land fills?? Eventually there will be 200 million American homes throwing these bulbs away, and all that mercury is going to contaminate something. This is the continued 2 dimensional thinking on the part of Congress, and I quite frankly am getting tired of their stupidity.

    In other words, I’m asking Congress to actually be – hold your breath – accountable to the people

    OMG NO WAY!!! Congress be accountable to the people??? Did hell just now freeze over?? This Congresswoman is stepping on some pretty big toes. I hope she survives this.

    Let’s face it, our Government has become a den of idiots and fools. They ban a simple thing like a light bulb to “save energy”, but they won’t put a stop to the 66 blends of gasoline that raise our gas prices. They won’t tell the states that have special gasoline, i.e. California, Colorado, that if they want special gas, they should provide their own refineries to get their special gas, and stop wasting the American people’s dime. I would find it less intrusive if these bozos mandated geo-thermal heating in new homes, if it’s good enough for the President’s ranch, it’s good enough for everyone. But instead these door knobs ban a freekin’ light bulb. Yeah, I am glad my vote was counted. Idiots. – Lorica

  2. Leslie says:

    Well, look–the new bulbs last ten times longer, so in the end they don’t cost more money, and might even save money. But: if there is an issue with mercury, then once again we have the law of unintended consequences rearing its ugly head.

    And by the way, whatever is the case, this is not something Congress should have involved itself with.

    :((

  3. And by the way, whatever is the case, this is not something Congress should have involved itself with.

    Yup, pretty much.

    Read up on FDR’s “court packing plan” from the 1930’s, specifically, exactly what set it off. The Supreme Court rapped his knuckles because a lot of the stuff he strong-armed through Congress intruded into intrastate commerce…a lot of the other stuff did the same, and tried to use a lot of threadbare silly logic to re-label intrastate commerce as interstate commerce.

    Back then, we had loud, noisy, passionate, vibrant debates about whether legislation imposed itself on intra- or inter-state commerce. If it was found to be the former, it was unconstitutional, no ifs, ands or buts. If it had already been passed, it was unenforceable, null and void.

    This is intrastate commerce. We shouldn’t even be discussing it.

  4. marsha Howell says:

    There is a caveat with the flourescent bulbs; “contains mercury, please dispose of properly”..

    /so then is the consumer going to risk a fine (perhaps in the future) should the bulb end up in the trash? Or will there be a haz-mat disposal such as is required for spent medical needles?
    I’m stocking up on incadescent.:-\

  5. Proof says:

    The dim bulbs that write the laws have little respect for the rights or wishes of their constituents.

    When I lived in California, I preferred CFLs for their energy savings. Now, living in “globally warmed” Ohio, I prefer incandescents for the “waste” heat they throw off!
    Plus, I hate to think that every broken CFL bulb requires a toxic waste clean up!

  6. Renea says:

    There is a caveat with the flourescent bulbs; “contains mercury, please dispose of properly”..

    /so then is the consumer going to risk a fine (perhaps in the future) should the bulb end up in the trash? Or will there be a haz-mat disposal such as is required for spent medical needles?

    Leave it to Congress not to tell you the whole story. The fluorescent bulbs will need to be disposed of “properly” (not in your regular garbage) and here in central Iowa the Haz-Mat facility is only open limited hours during the week. Real convenient for me. So I have to stockpile the spent light bulbs, take an afternoon off to dispose of them and spend $10-$15 dollars in gas driving the 30 miles to the facility. Seems to me I’ve just negated the benefit of switching to the fluorescent bulbs.

    Also, if one happens to break, will Haz-Mat come to my house to take care of the exposed mercury and will I need a Haz-Mat suit just to change a light bulb in case of breakage?

  7. Lorica says:

    Renea, you also forget that Haz-Mat waste management will charge you for disposing of these bulbs. So there again, whatever “savings” you were promised, is now gone by the wayside. No matter how you cut it, this is going to cost us all more money. – Lorica

  8. sunsettommy says:

    I prefer full spectrum light bulbs.

    I have always hated the “glow” bulbs.

    I wonder if Albert is stocking up on the old incandescent bulbs?

  9. Gail Hillman says:

    These fluorescent bulbs may not be used with a dimmer switch (less energy used).I have many of these in my home (over half of the bulbs ) are on dimmers.I also have several lamps which use three bulbs. The fluorescent bulbs do not come with the three way choose. My newspaper has stated that all fluorescent bulbs be taken to a drop off place about 20 miles from my home. I do not want to have these unsafe bulbs in my home.

  10. Gail Hillman says:

    I would not want to use one of these unsafe fluoresent bulbs next to childs bed.