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Light Bulb Bill Might Not Win 2/3rds Vote

From The Hill:

Lightbulb bill likely headed for defeat in House

By Pete Kasperowicz – 07/11/11

House Democrats on Monday indicated strong opposition to a controversial bill to repeal federal lightbulb standards, which could lead to the defeat of the measure in an expected Tuesday vote.

The only controversial thing here is the new federal light bulb ‘standard’ in the first place, which seems to be universally hated.

The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, H.R. 2417 would end federal bulb standards passed in 2007 that Republicans have since held up as a prime example of federal overreach. House Republicans brought up the bill under a suspension of the rules, which requires two-thirds of voting members to support it.

That means even though a majority might support it, it is unlikely to be approved Tuesday in light of Democratic opposition.

So why bring it up under "a suspension of the rules"? The Republicans control the House. Couldn’t they force a straight up or down vote?

Suspension votes are generally reserved for non-controversial bills, although this is not the first time Republicans have risked failure by putting a bill on the suspension calendar. In February, for example, the House rejected two bills in this manner — one instructing the Obama administration to seek repayment from the United Nations, and other to extend Patriot Act surveillance authorities.

It almost sounds like the GOP brings up these popular bills in ways they know won’t pass. But they can then say they tried. We hope that is not the case.

During Monday’s debate on the lightbulb bill, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and other Republicans said federal standards will have the effect of banning incandescent bulbs next year, since they will be unable to meet energy standards that take effect then. Barton said this is a problem because compact fluorescent bulbs and others than can meet the standards are several times more expensive.

Other Republicans argued that by setting efficiency standards, the government is setting requirements in the market that determine winners and losers. "The issue is, should the federal government come in and mandate a monopoly," Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) asked

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) tried an unusual route in trying to win Democratic support for the bill — vanity.

"Here’s the bottom line: those of us of a certain age, under a compact fluorescent bulb, we don’t look as good as we do under an incandescent bulb," Burgess said to laughter. "Even the former chairman of my committee of Energy and Commerce suffers from what might be called spectrum fatigue under a compact fluorescent bulb."

Burgess was referring to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), now the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Of course, nothing could put Henry Waxman in a good light. But the problem isn’t just that these new bulbs are unflattering, or that they are much more expensive. They problem isn’t even that they are hard on the eyes, and cannot be used on dimmers. Or that they are dangerous.

The real problem here is that government has no business telling us what kind of light bulb we can use. This is the epitome of government over-reach.

By the way, where is the spirit of compromise and bi-partisanship, even on an issue as simple and popular as rolling back this idiotic light bulb ban?

Still, lest we forget, there are other ways to fight back. For instance, the Texas legislature passed an incandescent light bulb bill and it was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry back in June.

From the Houston CBS affiliate, KHOU:

Texas uses bulbs to shine light on Washington ‘overegulation’

by Gabe Gutierrez / KHOU 11 News
Posted on July 11, 2011

HOUSTON – A battle of the bulbs is erupting as Texas challenges energy regulations that would phase out incandescent light bulbs in favor of newer, more energy-efficient ones.

The 2007 energy bill was meant to help the environment, but critics say the new bulbs are way too expensive and some are more difficult to dispose of safely because they contain mercury.

Texas Republicans are using the issue to challenge Washington and fight for states’ rights.

The Texas legislature recently passed a bill declaring that incandescent bulbs—if they are made and sold only in the Lone Star State—would be exempt from the federal law since they don’t involve interstate commerce.

H.B. 2510 was sponsored by State Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana.

"This is a jobs bill and a consumer choice bill that benefits all Texans," Lavender said in a written statement. "The last thing we need in this economy is to send American jobs overseas and raise costs to consumers based on dubious claims of increased energy efficiency."

Gov. Rick Perry is now encouraging Texas businesses to step up and start making the bulbs Washington has essentially banned…

This article, like on most on the subject, fails to note that these CFL bulbs are all made in Red China, probably by slave labor — or close enough.

The Texas bill allowing the incandescent bulbs within the state takes effect January 1 barring any court challenge.

Of course, there will be endless court challenges. Probably even some brought by the ACLU.

After all, we can’t allow people to have a choice about the kind of light bulbs they can buy. The only ‘choice’ the left wants to allow is the choice to abort babies.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Light Bulb Bill Might Not Win 2/3rds Vote”

  1. proreason says:

    I have a CFL bulb that I bought deliberately to put in a location that is very difficult to reach. I figured that since they are supposed to last 10 years or so I might die before I had to risk my life on a ladder to change it again.

    It burned out after about 12 months.

    Now I’m afraid to change it.

    If I drop the damn thing they may condemn my house. At the very least, I will have to call in Hazmat to the tune of several thousand dollars…or else I will be a criminal and might spend the rest of my life in jail.

    Isn’t marxism great?

    • Right of the People says:

      You’re lucky you got 12 months out of it. The average lifespan of the CFL’s I’ve been forced to buy recently is about 9-10 months once I factor in the 1 out of every 6 I buy either doesn’t work the first time it is screwed in or burns out within a week.

      Almost every light fixture in my house that isn’t a freestanding lamp has a dimmer on it and of course CFLs don’t do dimmers. If you turn the voltage down even a bit, the CFL will go out and might not come back on even with full voltage.

      I have to go to Canada to buy incandescents since Vermont has all but banned them. I’m waiting to be busted at the border for smuggling in “illegal” bulbs.

  2. jobeth says:

    ” I factor in the 1 out of every 6 I buy either doesn’t work the first time it is screwed in or burns out within a week. ”

    We shouldn’t complain…it ONLY costs us $3.50 to find out if it works or not.
    So whats our problem? (sarc)

    We too use a lot of dimmers…not only is the light nicer but it cuts the cost.
    If we had CFLs I would leave them on all the time (whoops…there goes all those savings). If I want to go into the bathroom for 3 minutes it would be nice to have light the first two. I’d leave it on all the time.

    This is madness. I remember the libs used to scream “get out of our bedrooms’ with all the old sex laws. Ok…fair enough. Behind those doors is not the state’s business. But neither is the bulb in my bedroom lamp!!!!

    Besides…its impossible to put make up on under that horrible light. Wait till all the lib ladies come out looking garish! LOL Might help our cause.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “Wait till all the lib ladies come out looking garish!”

      As opposed to what?

  3. jobeth says:

    At the rate this crap is going on, the fireplace in our family room using wood for a fire will be outlawed.(can’t burn…too much carbon..and we must save trees)

    We’ll have to go to using recycled paper colored red with a crayon shaped like flame.

    Why is this light bulb thing any less stupid. On so many levels it costs us more and the safety of our people is being compromised because of so many airheads.

    Could be they have brain damage from rebreathing their own carbon dioxide from a recycled paper bag.

  4. BillK says:

    Indeed, the bill failed.

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