Let there be non-governmental enforced light!
(Chicago Tribune) –The traditional incandescent light bulb won a nine-month reprieve late Thursday from new federal rules that would have led to its demise.
The deal to avert a government shutdown starting Friday night includes a provision that prevents the Department of Energy from spending any money to implement or enforce the energy efficiency standards for light bulbs that is set to start going into effect for 100-watt bulbs in 2012.
The new standards and regulations remain on the book, even if they now won’t be enforced.
The efficiency rules are intended to phase out of the old bulbs that are essentially unchanged since the time of Thomas Edison and a phase in of the more efficient bulbs such as halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or LED bulbs.
Those more efficient bills have a more expensive initial cost, about $1.50 to $2 a bulb compared to 25 or 50 cents for a less efficient light.
At a hearing in May, Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican elected with Tea Party support last year, lectured an Energy Department official that
“you raise the cost of all the items with all the rules and all your notions that you know what’s best for me….I find it insulting.”
The reprieve ends on Sept. 30, 2012, the end of the government’s fiscal year.
Secretary Chu [Secretary of Energy, who is an advocate of the ban,Â said of the potential repeal,
“We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.”
Confused by the bureaucratic doublespeak? Reaching for your copy of Orwell’s Guide to Big Brotherisms? You should be. Chu apparently believes that government regulations that restrict choice and force decisions upon you are great things for society because they pre-select the best choice imaginable, taking the guesswork out of being a free-thinking being. And they’re saving you money to boot!
Chu isn’t the only one who thinks the light bulb ban is a great idea.Â Former Senator John Warner (R–VA) said, “We’ll be dropping backwards in America’s need to become more energy-efficient.” And then there’s Jim Presswood of the environmental activistÂ Natural Resources Defense Council,Â who says, “Clearly, consumers, the economy and the environment will suffer if these standards are repealed.” The organization claims that the ban would save consumers $85 per year.
Well, that’s not entirely true. In California,Â utilities spent nearly $550 million to subsidize CFLs for consumers, but they didn’t get such great results. In March,Â The Wall Street Journal reported that energy savings under the program wereÂ 73 percent less than expected.
From recycling to cleanup after breakage,Â CFL’s are a huge PITA.