- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
House turns out light on old-style bulbs
Republicans unable to overturn law on efficiency
Question of the Day
The incandescent light bulb failed to earn a last-minute reprieve in the House on Tuesday, leaving the old-style bulb still facing a government-imposed death sentence when new regulations kick in at the end of this year.
Under a law Congress enacted in 2007, energy efficiency standards that go into effect in 2012 will chase the older, cheaper incandescent light bulbs from store shelves, leaving consumers to choose from more technologically advanced - but much more expensive - bulbs, such as the squiggly compact fluorescent bulbs.
Republicans, who took control of the House this year, had promised to try to overturn the law, but failed to muster the two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill Monday under expedited rules of debate.
“The party is over for the traditional incandescent light bulb,” said Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican.
The vote was 233-193, with most Republicans voting for it and most Democrats opposed.
Republicans could bring the bill back under regular debate rules, but it was unclear Tuesday whether they would do so.
The bulb debate has produced plenty of heat across the country, where some consumers have stocked up on the old-style bulbs, and in Congress, where lawmakers said the battle came down to personal freedom versus the health and safety of the planet.
“Whatever happened to government with consent of the governed?” said Rep. Michael C. Burgess, a Texas Republican who drives a hybrid vehicle and said he supports energy efficiency. Mr. Burgess said Americans should be given choices: “They should not be constrained to all of the romance of a Soviet stairwell when they go home in the evening.”
But Democrats said to turn their backs on the bulb would be equivalent to embracing the Model T Ford over modern cars.
“There’s a point to this, and the point is, it reduces the amount of greenhouse gases we have to send out into our atmosphere. It reduces the amount of energy we have to think about importing from other countries,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat.
Mr. Markey pointed to government standards for refrigeration and cooling efficiency enacted in the 1980s that cut consumption and saved the country the costs of building dozens of coal or nuclear power plants.
“We have to learn how to think smarter and not harder,” he said.
The 2007 standards require bulbs to use 25 percent to 30 percent less energy beginning in 2012, when 100-watt bulbs must meet the standards, and ending in 2014, when 40-watt bulbs must come into compliance. By 2020, bulbs will have to be 70 percent more efficient.
Light-emitting diodes, compact fluorescent lamps and some newer incandescent bulbs can meet the new standard, but they are more expensive.
The compact fluorescent bulbs, which appear to be the leader of the new options, contain about 4 milligrams of mercury, which is considered an environmental hazard. The Environmental Protection Agency has written a three-page document detailing what consumers should do if a bulb breaks in their home, and disposing of the new bulbs is also causing concern.
Mr. Poe said French scientists have found the bulbs can cause blindness in children, while German scientists say it may be linked to cancer.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Wind farms: Interior Department sacrifices eagle protection for alternative energy
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow