Happy New Year, America, the lights are still on.
The EPA’s ban on the common light bulb has been staved off for another year thanks to Michigan Rep. Fred Upton and House Republicans. A year ago, Upton & Co. short-circuited the Obama administration’s elimination of the incandescent bulb by inserting language in the annual omnibus Appropriations Bill defunding federal energy standards that would have made the bulb illegal for sale.
And since the U.S. government runs on continuing resolutions these days (thanks to Senate Democrats’ inability to pass budgets), the language has survived the continuing resolution passed and signed before the election. That CR only gets us to March, sources say, but the bulb language should survive any CRs and appropriations bills for the rest of 2013.
The bulb ban, of course, is the poster child of Obama’s zealous War on Carbon.
It’s a war that dates back to the Bush Administration, which originally targeted the bulb for the scrap heap – despite the fact that incandescents make for 85 percent of bulb purchases. Upton was Bush’s bagman for the bulb ban. But after a national outcry over the bulb’s looming elimination, Upton saw the, um, light – and did yeoman’s work in correcting his mistake.
Alas, the bulb’s salvation came too late for hundreds of American jobs that have been lost to China as the lighting industry moved jobs overseas in anticipation of making the more expensive incandescent replacement, the CFL (compact fluorescent light). Washington’s favorite crony capitalist, General Electric, had long lobbied for a bulb ban in order to force consumers to buy more expensive CFLs. Like the EPA’s War on Coal, green means job loss.
At least consumers can cheer. At my local Kroger’s grocery, 100 watt bulbs sell for $4.99 for a pack of four. Their CFL replacements, meanwhile, cost a whopping $4.99 EACH.
That is, the common bulb is four times cheaper than politically-correct CFLs. And CFLs don’t always last four times longer. Despite EPA & MSM claims (USA Today has been one of the most egregious mouthpieces for government propaganda) CFLs do not necessarily last longer than common bulbs. CFLs work best in places where the lights stay on - turning them on and off frequently shortens their life span. Which is why consumers want bulb choice – not government mandates.
“We heard the message loud and clear from Americans who don’t want government standards determining how they light their homes,” said Michigan Congressman Upton in late 2011. Democrats are still deaf to America’s calls, but thanks to House GOPers – and the tireless efforts of activists like Myron Ebell of Freedom Action – the bulb lives.