House plans Monday vote to repeal light bulb rule

A House vote planned for Monday on repeal of the 2007 light bulb efficiency standards led Energy Secretary Steven Chu to remind us that only our betters know what's best for us.

The Hill quotes Dr. Chu's defense of the efficiency standards:

"I want to take this opportunity to dispel a myth," Chu said. "These standards do not ban incandescent bulbs."

Oh really? 

You're still going to be able to buy halogen incandescent bulbs... They'll look exactly like the ones you're used to...

Yes, and you won't feel a thing...

The Wall Street Journal further quotes Dr. Chu:

We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.

Well, thank goodness for that.  I just can't stop myself from wasting money on those incandescent light bulbs accumulating in my basement.

How did our forebears ever make the transition from whale oil to kerosene and then on to the incandescent bulb without Dr. Chu's help?

The current law requires the phase-out of incandescent bulbs over the next three years, with 100 watt versions off the market at the end of this year, 75 watt bulbs at the end of 2012 and 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs at the end of 2013, according to a chart posted at

Texas has recently passed a law that would allow incandescent bulbs if made and sold only in Texas, and a few other states are considering similar measures, on the basis that they would not "involve interstate commerce and therefore are not subject to federal regulation," as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

There's that commerce clause again...

After the federal law's phase-out dates we would be weaned from the tried and true and saddled with a house full of mercury-laden CFL bulbs that we don't really like to begin with.  And accidentally breaking a light bulb becomes a haz-mat event.  Especially with children and pets around.

But then again, the Dr. Chu's of the world probably think we are wasting our money on pets too.



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