Fiscal Conservatives – Part 3

The lights are on in the republican party but in terms of being fiscally conservative, no one is home. H/T Think Progress:

In a move that could be called anything but conservative, Republican lawmakers are set to bring a bill to the House floor next week that will repeal state and municipal rights to set efficiency standards for light bulbs. The bill would unravel a piece of federal legislation that was strongly supported by light bulb manufacturers and has spurred innovation in the lighting industry.

The bill, sponsored by Texas Republican Joe Barton, would strip away any “federal, state or local requirement or standard regarding energy efficient lighting” that uses light bulbs containing mercury. In other words, all compact fluorescent bulbs.

So while this bill ends local control(sounds familiar) as republicans are want to do, it also will end up costing the American Consumer a whipping $12.5 BILLION dollars annually.

This bill originally was signed by George W Bush, with not only broad bipartisan support, but was also accepted industry wide. As Randall Moorhead, vice president of government affairs at Philips, says:

The 2007 law set minimum efficiency level. That’s it. Everyone in the industry knew that it was set at a point that we could still make incandescent light bulbs. The industry never would have supported a law that would have banned a technology or prevented us from making a light with a certain kind of ambiance.

The reality is, the new incandescent lights were not being made because there was not an economic incentive to make them. And now Philips [and other manufacturers] makes two types that were not made before EISA. Today, under the efficiency standard, consumers have more choices, not less. They still can choose from more types of incandescent light bulbs that will be more efficient.

“It’s a nice bumper sticker statement to claim that the government is going to come in and take your light bulbs away. Unfortunately, my 5-page white paper that explains the effectiveness of the law has a hard time competing with that,”

UPDATE: A new analysis from NRDC shows that repealing the standard would ultimately cost the country more than $12.5 billion annually. The light-bulb standard will reduce Americans’ energy costs by about $85 per household every year when the standards are fully in place. More efficient light bulbs also will eliminate the need for 33 large power plants – and the pollution they generate

PS: In Cottage Grove, we have a village board who uses that very same bumper sticker slogan as policy!


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