Jessica Dailey

House Passes Amendment Banning Enforcement of the Light Bulb Efficiency Standards

by , 07/18/11

bulb act, energy act 2007, house passes energy act amendment, light bulb energy efficiency standards, energy standards for light bulbs, green lighting

Well that certainly was a short lived victory. Just last Wednesday, we were celebrating the House of Representative’s rejection of the BULB Act, a bill that would put a stop to the light bulb efficiency standards signed into law by George W. Bush. But then just three days later, the House passed an amendment to that bill that prohibits spending to enforce the efficiency standards, essentially stopping them altogether. Many, including us, are completely baffled as to why the Republicans would want to stop a bill that will save Americans billions of dollars, but now it’s clear that they are doing this simply to play to their Tea Party supporters.

bulb act, energy act 2007, house passes energy act amendment, light bulb energy efficiency standards, energy standards for light bulbs, green lighting

Republicans have pulled out all the stops in trying to end what most are calling a ban on incandescent light bulbs. While the standards do not actually ban all incandescent bulbs, they do require that all light bulbs be 30 percent more energy efficient than the standard 100-watt incandescent bulb. The standards would save Americans $12.5 billion a year in energy costs and allow more than a dozen coal burning plants to be shut down.

Republicans, lead by Rep. Michael Burgess (Texas) and Michele Bachmann (Minnesota), have been crusading against the 2007 Energy Act, which the light bulb efficiency standards are part of, pretty much since the get-go. Never mind the fact that it was President George W. Bush who signed the act into law. Bachmann even nicknamed the BULB Act the “The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act,” (the name for her original light bulb legislation in 2008) which can only be seen as an attempt to stir up dust about a ‘Big Government’ that wants to tell you which light bulb you must choose.

The energy efficiency standards have already been largely accepted by the lighting industry. Philips and GE are just a couple of companies that have created new bulbs, and others, like Lutron and even Google, are designing new technologies specifically for more energy-efficient light bulbs. There’s really no other reason for the Republicans’ actions besides politics. Given that the standards would save energy, save money, reduce pollution, cut carbon emissions, and create jobs, we can’t see any downside.

As our friends at Treehugger said, “This has nothing to do with common sense, and everything to do with ideological manipulation.” Or, if you prefer a more biting take on the House’s actions, head over to Think Progress Green, where they sum it up with a few kind words:

“In short, the House of Representatives is run by radical extremists with an Oil Above All agenda, willing to destroy any chance of a prosperous and healthy future for the United States of America just to serve their fossil-fuel paymasters.”

Via Treehugger and Think Progress Green

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5 Comments

  1. JWM July 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Sorry for not being more clear. The 2007 Energy Act states incandescent lamps must achieve 25% greater efficiency between 2012-2014. Traditional methods of incandescent lamp production cannot meet this 25% standard. This is NOT a ban on incandescent lamps. Therefore, those manufacturers of such lamps will need to find alternative lamps that meet those needs. Which most major manufactures have applauded AND adapted too already. In addition there have been breakthroughs in incandescent technology that have allowed some incandescent lamps to actually meet that 25% standard!

    Repealing this part of the 2007 Energy Act has the impact of keeping the U.S. behind in the move toward becoming more sustainable. As well as allowing incandescent lamps to continue to impact the market, making the switch to more efficient lamps more difficult for the consumer due to cost.

    The U.S. already lags behind most of the world on renewable energies and continuing to back-pedal like this will mean the U.S. will have a weaker position in the global market once everyone is forced off of nonrenewable sources. (Which may or may not happen in our lifetime, but should still be a concern.)

    As a side: I never mentioned anything about the Tea Party in my comment.

  2. chippwalters July 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

    You’re speaking from both sides of your mouth. You use the term ‘mandate’ to describe the action of the bill– the purpose of which is to make it so people do not have the option of choosing what bulb they want. That’s exactly what I’m talking about– NOT having the government be involved.

    Next, they will ‘mandate’ candles nor oil lamps be used as they, too, are not efficient. It is a slippery slope.

    It’s silliness– and what does the tea party have to do with it all? (Other than you wishing to voice your particular disdain for them) Have you even read the tea party platform?

    http://www.teaparty-platform.com/

  3. JWM July 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    The bill never mandated what lamps an individual could buy, it simply raised the standard to a higher level so incandescents could compete with CFLs in the market. Mandating that incandescents become more energy efficient is a smart move that industry leaders have actually adopted and been developing, industry leaders such as Philips.

    Republicans made it a political issue and killed the bill by falsely claiming the government was infringing on our rights to purchase any lamp we choose. Which is no where near to the truth.

    This article by Dailey expresses the dissatisfaction in the backwards thinking of the current GOP without resorting to the common name calling that I have seen crop up in a lot of environmental blogs.

  4. chippwalters July 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Yes, I agree it does seem silly that there are those like the despicable Tea Party folks, who actually DO NOT want Washington to make every decision for them. Can you imagine that? The thought we shouldn’t just let Congress dictate each and every facet of our lives, including what lightbulbs we buy and how to use them?

    Wow, since when has inhabitat.com become a leftist liberal mouthpiece political blog? Been following it for years in my RSS reader and don’t remember such blatant foolishness. Not all those who care about the environment HAVE to share your particular BENT.

  5. arnz July 18, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Sad that China ramps up production & development of LED lights, where the US goes backwards with the progression of the filament bulb.

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