Keep the Lights On

American law is about to mandate “energy efficiency standards for light bulbs.” This is set for January 2012 and is leading to various Republican legislators trying to get a repeal of the 2007 law that “requires bulbs to consume less energy.” Texas has already taken steps in this direction, with a law taking itself out of the federal requirement loop, with other states following suit.

In a recent article, it was reported that people are trying to outsmart the system by “hoarding the old incandescent bulbs,” as they are worried these are going to be banned come January 1, 2012 and they will only be able to purchase other types of bulbs, such as compact fluorescent ones. But this is not necessary since America isn’t actually banning these, but rather “creating new standards” for them to ensure they provide “increased efficiency.”

America’s Freedom of Choice

Those against the law are using the argument that it is infringing on American citizens’ rights of “freedom of choice,” and petitions are arguing that what will be in place will be a “nanny state.” The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act was introduced by Michele Bachmann, who is running for president. Her argument is that “the government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy.” She said that as President, she would “allow you to buy any light bulb you want in the United States of America.”

Other arguments were put forward by Representative Joe Barton and 14 other congressmen, who claimed “Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to people who work for their own paychecks and earn their own living.” Others point out that the new law will resulting in people being pushed into using compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), most of which aren’t even made in America which brings with it a whole slew of other issues. Irrespective of that political problem, there is the environmental and security issue since CFLs “contain toxic mercury, cannot be dimmed, and produce an inferior light.”

Light at the End of the Tunnel

But it doesn’t all have to be bad news for the new bulbs. According to the survey, over half of respondents were said to be “eager to use more energy efficient lighting solutions.” And people have been told they don’t need to hoard bulbs as “incandescent bulbs” will still be available. All this is going to mean is that bulbs will be cheaper and there will be more choices available.

Dan Kazan

Dan Kazan has had years of experience writing for some of the largest newspapers and magazines in the USA. He was one of the first pioneers in bringing the news online and has focused most of his recent energies into making Left Justified the high quality online news and opinion site which it is.Dan can be reached at dankazan(at)

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