Hot on the heels of his infamous apology to BP earlier this summer during the congressional hearings into the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) has just offered a new environmental bombshell bill in the House. The Better Use of Light Bulb Act (HR 6144) would repeal parts of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) — the act that currently stands to phase out the use of most inefficient incandescent light bulbs in the United States by 2014.

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Even groups like the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have spoken out in opposition to this new bill, noting that, “The reality is that consumer preference already has been shifting away from incandescent products, with the market for standard household incandescent bulbs declining by 50 percent over the last five or so years. With lighting consuming approximately 22 percent of all electricity in the U.S., the potential for energy savings and energy conservation that the country — and the world — can realize with this change to higher-technology light sources is immense.”

EISA 2007 provisions do not mandate the use of only compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), nor do they “ban” incandescent products. LED lights, advanced incandescents, such as halogen bulbs, and other options are all available choices. But it’s time to get rid of incandescents. As architect Michael Klement recently observed, “Real name for incandescent light bulb? Mini heaters with a trace light byproduct.”