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June 8, 2011
The light bulb police
Are you stockpiling incandescent light bulbs for the coming ban on January 1, 2012?
I am. You should. What the government is ordering you to buy - flourescent light bulbs - contain hazardous materials that, if broken, threaten you and your family. Not only that, but the government ordered bulbs are less illuminating and give some people headaches - like my Zsu-Zsu who gets terrible migraines from flourescents.
It's time to start pressuring Republicans to sign on to a bill that would stop this nanny state nonsense before it starts. The Wall Street Journal:
On January 1, 2012, seven months from this week, Washington will effectively ban the sale of conventional 100 watt incandescent light bulbs that Americans have used nearly since the days of Thomas Edison. Instead we will all be required to buy compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. We'd like to believe that when the government decrees what kind of light bulbs you can screw into the lamp in your own bedroom, even liberals would be nervous about the nanny state.
Yet Republicans have so far shown little interest in voting on the "Bulb Act" cosponsored by Republicans Mike Enzi of Wyoming in the Senate and Joe Barton of Texas in the House. This would repeal the 2007 law, signed in one of his all-too typical late-term decisions by George W. Bush, that turns incandescent bulbs into contraband. The ban passed at the height of the global warming fad-scare when all proper thinkers were supposed to sacrifice to the anticarbon gods.
The greens and the Obama Administration assert that the new light bulbs are good for the lumpen bourgeoisie because they will cut electricity use and save the average household $50 a year. Mr. Obama's Energy Department told Congress recently that to repeal the ban would "detrimentally affect the nation's economy, energy security, and environmental imperatives." Yes, and cause the seas to rise to swamp Miami and New York too.
I'd like to see those studies that prove all of that bullcrap the Energy Department is throwing around. Congress should demand to see them too.
But that's only half the problem. The other half is disposing of these monstrosities. What happens if you drop one on the floor and break it?
Fluorescent lights also carry their own environmental risks because they contain small amounts of mercury and other toxic materials. The EPA website contains three pages of consumer directions about what to do if you break a CFL bulb in your home: "Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more. Shut off the central heating and air conditioning system. Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with a metal lid.''
Congressman Ted Poe of Texas has poked fun at these EPA guidelines by holding up a fluorescent bulb on the House floor asking: "If I dropped this, would we all have to evacuate the Capitol?" If fluorescent bulbs weren't all the rage among greens, the Consumer Product Safety Commission might ban them as a home health hazard. The question an (allegedly) free society should ask is if CFL bulbs are so clearly superior, why does the government have to force people to buy them?
And that, gentle reader, is the bottom line. Not only do whale oil lamps give off more light, but the hazard to your family that compels the EPA to give you three pages of instructions on how to get rid of the poisonous contents in these bulbs proves the government doesn't care about you or your family's well being.
I understand that most incandescent bulb assembly lines have already shut down. The time to act is now so we can retool and hire back those lost workers to start making a decent electric bulb again.
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