With the House scheduled to vote as early as today to repeal legislation requiring energy efficient light bulbs, it’s worth reviewing some of the nonsense that has been floating around in the blogosphere and cyberspace about this subject.
Two basic falsehoods: Democrats have already voted to ban conventional lights bulbs in favor of dangerous fluorescent light bulbs; and the current law, which takes effect Jan. 1, represents governmental interference in our lives and President Obama interfering with free enterprise.
Here’s a portion of Politifact’s conclusions:
“First off, it's not accurate to pin the law entirely to Democrats. It's true that more Democrats than Republicans voted for the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. But it got a measure of bipartisan support (with a GOP lawmaker as a key proponent) and it was signed by Republican President George W. Bush. Obama was a non-factor.
“More importantly, we found the law does not ban incandescent light bulbs. The law is technology neutral; it requires new light bulbs meet new efficiency standards. It's true that the traditional versions of incandescent light bulbs do not meet those new standards and will be phased out of existence.
“Compact fluorescent and LED bulbs offer more efficient alternatives, but if incandescent light is your thing, the major light bulb makers have you covered. They are now selling halogen incandescent bulbs that meet the new efficiency standards.”
The Republican bill faces a steep challenge because it needs a two-thirds majority to pass the House, and even if it passed, it would then face the unlikely prospect of Senate approval. In addition, advocates have shown that, despite the higher cost of fluorescents, the long-term cost is cheaper. The country would reduce energy consumption by an estimated $18 billion a year, saving consumers between $80 to $180 on their electric bills annually.