Spending Bill Includes Block On Light Bulb Standards

Small victories are victories, if this makes it through all the votes and Obama (who keeps the White House at 78) doesn’t veto it

(The Politico) The shutdown-averting budget bill will block federal light bulb efficiency standards, giving a win to House Republicans fighting the so-called ban on incandescent light bulbs.

GOP and Democratic sources tell POLITICO the final omnibus bill includes a rider defunding the Energy Department’s standards for traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more energy efficient.

DOE’s light bulb rules – authorized under a 2007 energy law authored signed by President George W. Bush – would start going into effect Jan. 1. The rider will prevent DOE from implementing the rules through Sept. 30.

But Democrats said they could claim a “compromise” by adding language to the omnibus that requires DOE grant recipients greater than $1 million to certify they will upgrade the efficiency of their facilities by replacing any lighting to meet or exceed the 2007 energy law’s standards.

Hmm, that last part sounds somewhat like they would extort companies, or socialism. Either one. This is a good thing, though, most domestic light bulb makers of incandescent bulbs have already shut down, so, here’s something else China will provide. Realistically, not many people actually use 100 watt incandescent bulbs, but, the rules did affect 3-way bulbs, and would have been slowly phased in for lower wattage bulbs, ending with 40 watt bulbs in….2014.

On Twitter, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) wrote: “I strongly oppose that language. I hope it’s deleted from any final bill that we pass.”

“It’s the power of Michele Bachmann and the presidential campaign,” added Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee that approved the original language. “What can I say? If we can solve the energy problem with the outcome on the light bulb, America would be a great place.”

Quick, someone in the D.C. area head over to their Congressional offices, see if they have any incandescent bulbs around. Also, in their Congressional District offices. If they don’t they are killing the future of America’s energy.

Republicans for Environmental Protection also hoped to shame its GOP brethren into backing down.

“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?”

What’s not to like is that government has no place mandating which light bulbs can be manufactured. Perhaps in places like Venezuela and North Korea this would be acceptable, but not in the USA. They’re light bulbs, not crack cocaine. And those companies, or others, can tool up to produce incandescents. But, hey, if they can produce bulbs like they say, great! I’m all for it. If they are the same price. I have no problem with the concept of bulbs that produce less heat (living in North Carolina summers) and save energy. Saving money is good. But not by government decree. And not because elected officials were worried about globull warming, which was why they passed the bill in the first place.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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