In case you didn’t notice, Republicans held our economy hostage again last week over essential funding to keep our government running. One of their ransom demands in trade for their votes on the omnibus spending bill was over the light bulb law. GOPers are claiming a victory over Democratic regulatory overreach for success in cutting funding for enforcement of the new standards.
But here’s the thing. The light bulb bill was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007. The Republicans didn’t overturn the law, they simply defunded its enforcement. And light bulb manufacturers are rightfully ticked off at the GOPers over this latest display of Republican political chicanery.
The light bulb makers have spent millions of dollars over the last four years gearing up to meet the increased efficiency standards. The GOPers’ tomfoolery threatens their investments and if they suffer lost costs, well, as my conservative friends keep telling me, they’ll pass those costs unto us, the consumers. Furthermore, with no funding to enforce the standards, it leaves some fly by night, shady supplier free to foist off inferior bulbs as the real thing. Which will cost us, the consumers, more money. And more generally, more efficient light bulbs, save energy. That saves the consumers money and helps us as a country to preserve our limited energy resources. In other words, it would promote energy independence, which the GOPers scream about every time they want to abolish environmental safeguards on the extraction of the world’s rapidly waning fossil fuels.
And finally, the law does not prevent you from using incandescents, nor will incandescents disappear off the shelves. Manufacturers would continue to offer them according to consumer demand. The Republicans once again, falsely framed the stakes in this time wasting, wholly unncessary fight simply to create an imaginary victory over those darn liberals. But in the GOP’s never ending fight against any useful progress — as long it happens while a Democratic president is in office — the real losers are the American people. Of course, as always, the GOPers prefer the voters remain in the dark. [graphic via]