Share & Connect
Although there are real problems in this country, the House Republicans is instead focusing on light bulbs. That is right. Forget a double-dip recession, global warming, attacks on equality and spending cuts-we have light bulbs to consider!
Fortunately the asinine bill was voted down. But not before a ridiculous amount of time was wasted. The House of Representatives voted on whether to repeal light bulb efficiency standards that are set to take effect at the beginning of 2012 because it infringes on personal freedom. Yes, these same politicians don’t mind infringing on personal freedom when it comes to abortion or gay marriage, but damn the light bulbs.
I feel like I am writing for “The Onion” right now. The new standards that the House is now looking to repeal would save the United States billions of dollars each year. But, cutting spending is only necessary when it will hurt the poor and the elderly. Not make rich people change their light bulbs.
“This is about more than just energy consumption, it is about personal freedom,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), a sponsor of the new bill, in a statement earlier this year. “Voters sent us a message in November that it is time for politicians and activists in Washington to stop interfering in their lives and manipulating the free market. The light bulb ban is the perfect symbol of that frustration. People don’t want congress dictating what light fixtures they can use.”
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the lead sponsor of the light bulb provision when it was introduced as part of a Republican-backed energy bill signed into law in 2007, has since walked back his support for the standards: He told The Hill‘s Andrew Restuccia, “It was never my goal for Washington to decide what type of light bulbs Americans should use.
The public response on this issue is a clear signal that markets – not governments – should be driving technological advancements. I will join my colleagues to vote yes on a bill to protect consumer choice and guard against federal overreach.”
Of course, overlooked by these overpaid windbags is that the new law would not ban incandescent bulbs. The law sets goals that are technology-neutral, and manufacturers have already developed more efficient incandescent bulbs that are available and on the market today.
The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed for passage. The vote was 233-193.“Fortunately, the Republican attempt to repeal minimum efficiency standards for light bulbs failed,” said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement after the vote.
“But it is a reflection of how radical the House Republican majority has become that a bipartisan, common-sense provision supported by both industry and environmentalists was threatened with repeal, and that the House wasted its time on such a matter when we have much more important work to do to create jobs and reduce the deficit.”
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5484346132/in/photostream/