GOP Railroads Through Amendment on Light Bulbs
Either Republicans are stupid and incapable of strategic thinking (unlikely), doing anything to ensure consumers continue to waste energy to fill the coffers of energy companies (more likely), or are trying anything they can think of to get something passed they can hang their hat on in the next election (most likely). Amazingly, they just snuck in an amendment to the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act (HR 2354) to extend the ban on 100W incandescent light bulbs…and it passed!
The amendment was delivered by legislator (and climate denier) Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) who has said previously, “The federal government has no right to tell me or any other citizen what type of light bulb to use at home. It is our right to choose.” Could this mean he’s pro-choice?
Then we have presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann and her Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act trying to “keep the government out of our houses.” Again, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these two and their party would waste their time saving energy wasting light bulbs (especially since our country is so close to defaulting on our debt).
For the last five years (see this post from 2006 and this one about Bachmann) I’ve been closely watching what’s going on in energy and, especially, the ONE, MOST WASTEFUL energy use WORLDWIDE: incandescent light bulbs. The US Department of Energy, the European Union energy ministers, and anyone with half-a-brain can do the 2nd grade arithmetic necessary to easily see the energy wasting nature of this lighting source.
Take a look at this chart:
LEDs are phenomenal. I own two as test bulbs and the light is great, they burn cool, and they sip energy. Like other people I know interested in these bulbs, we’re waiting for them to drop in price to buy them by the dozen.
We have CFLs throughout the house…including dimmable ones. The light color, which many say is objectionable and too “blue”, is fine in our house and that objection is bullshit anyway. Once you have them installed your eyes adjust almost immediately.
This article (written in 2006!) from the Economist summed up the primary reason why we MUST get off incandescent lighting:
Worldwide about 20% of all electricity generated is used for lighting. Several studies reckon that LEDs could eventually cut that amount in half. That would not only save billions of dollars in electricity bills, but also significantly reduce energy demand, environmental pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions.
Yes, today LED bulbs are expensive. Philips, Sylvania and GE leadership has consistently projected rapidly falling costs once the governmental mandate kicks in. The projection is that costs will be on parity with CFLs within two years so that isn’t an objection (see this post).
As someone who considered himself a Republican up until the early 2000s, I am so embarrassed by the GOP and these sorts of short-sighted shenanigans I could just scream. That, coupled with their convenient “forgetting” that they ran up the deficit during the Bush years and their laissez-faire attitude to regulation let the financial industry crash the global economy, makes it unlikely I’ll ever vote Republican again. Then, after handing Obama an economic shit sandwich, which they’re now claiming is of his making, makes it all the more maddening that they’re wasting their time on trivial stuff like light bulbs.
All of that said, almost always this stuff is a head-fake away from what’s really going on, like the GOP doing anything to preserve, protect and defend energy companies. Forget about the future. Forget about leadership. Today’s GOP is a rudderless ship going around in circles while the rest of the world is working on making the world a better place. The GOP is a joke and almost everyone I know under 70 years old thinks so too.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.