How many legislative bodies does it take to block efficiency? Well, it appears only one — as Republicans in Congress try to repeal the 2007 Ban on incandescent bulbs. Spearheading the charge is Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who publically slammed the Energy Department saying the agency has “forced Americans to buy toilets that don’t flush properly and light bulbs they don’t want in the name of energy efficiency.”
In a recent hearing of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Paul told Energy Department official Kathleen Hogan “my toilets don’t work in my house. And I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house.” He added that the ban of incandescent lightbulbs restricts the choices, and therefore the freedoms, of the American people.
More shockingly he compared the right to choose what efficiency lightbulb you can buy to the abortion issue. Paul said it was “appalling” and “hypocritical” for the Obama administration to “favor a woman’s right to an abortion but you don’t favor a woman or a man’s right to choose what kind of light bulb, what kind of dishwasher, what kind of washing machine.”
Ironically, the 2007 Ban on Incandescent Bulbs was signed into law by President George W. Bush. It required manufacturers to produce bulbs that use 25%-30% less energy than standard incandescents. On top of that, President Reagan was the first to ring in federal efficiency standards 30 years ago… but try telling Paul that. Along with Representatives Joe Barton, Mike Enzi and Michele Bachmann, Paul has decided that more efficient light bulbs are an attack on the freedoms of the American People, and they have even called the legislation to reverse the standards, the “Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act.”
Dale Bryk, Program Director of the National Resources Defence Council recently appeared on the Colbert Report, where she stated that “efficient lightbulbs used less energy and saved money”, which in turn will put a dent in the defecit.