Incandescent about the light bulb swindle

News from the United States.

Congressman Joe Barton (Republican – Texas 6th) has introduced a Bill in the House to repeal the 2007 law that effectively bans incandescent bulbs in the US, starting in 2012.

On his website Rep. Barton explains:

This is about more than just energy consumption, it is about personal freedom. Voters sent us a message in November that it is time for politicians and activists in Washington to stop interfering in their lives and manipulating the free market. The light bulb ban is the perfect symbol of that frustration. People don’t want congress dictating what light fixtures they can use.

Traditional incandescent bulbs are cheap and reliable. Alternatives, including the most common replacement Compact Fluorescent Lights or CFL’s, are more expensive and health hazards – so why force them on the American people? From the health insurance you’re allowed to have, to the car you can drive, to the light bulbs you can buy, Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to you and your family.

Take a bow, Congressman. You seem to understand what representative democracy means. But then, America is about the last country that has something resembling a functioning democracy.

If only the UK was sovereign and had politicians like Barton. Just think, we might even have politicians who would listen to the people they serve and tell the self selecting and unaccountable elite of the European Commission to carefully locate their unnecessary, expensive and harmful ban on incandescent light bulbs in their deep, dark anatomical crevices.

(Hat tip: Green Hell)

10 Responses to “Incandescent about the light bulb swindle”

  1. 1 Patrick Harris 07/01/2011 at 4:45 pm

    A politician following through and implementing a promise – let’s see how the “career” politicians vote.

  2. 2 Tufty 07/01/2011 at 5:27 pm

    As is well-known, CFLs contain mercury. This is how DEFRA says broken ones should be disposed of.

    Vacate the room and ventilate it for at least 15 minutes. Do not use a vacuum cleaner, but clean up using rubber gloves and aim to avoid creating and inhaling airborne dust. Sweep up all particles and glass fragments and place in a plastic bag. Wipe the area with a damp cloth, then add that to the bag and seal it. Mercury is hazardous waste and the bag should not be disposed of in the bin. All local councils have an obligation to make arrangements for the disposal of hazardous household waste.

  3. 3 GCooper 07/01/2011 at 6:00 pm

    One aspect of the ban in the UK that has troubled me since its inception is why at least one of the major retailers didn’t tell the government to bugger-off – particularly as it appears it has been perfectly legal to sell ‘banned’ incandescent bulbs all along (as indeed many small shops still do).

    Sainsburys – fair enough. It’s a effectively Labour-supporting business, as is the Co-op. But Tesco? Morrissons? Wilkinsons?

    Were arms twisted? By whom? And how?

  4. 4 meltemian 07/01/2011 at 6:53 pm

    Oh please bring back incandescent light bulbs! I’m fed-up of the dreary light these CFL’s give out.
    As for being ‘green’ – they cost far more to produce and cost far more to dispose of as hazardous waste.

  5. 5 NeilM 07/01/2011 at 7:54 pm

    I think the ‘Energy Efficient’ light bulb is more symbolic than anything else. It’s a ‘nudge’ from the thin end of the Eco-Fascist’s wedge, designed to condition us into acceptance of future constraints on our liberty and lifestyle.

    Anyway, my local Tesco store is selling CFLs at prices from 8p to 20p each, and I’ve been clearing the shelf and stockpiling them while the subsidies are still on.

  6. 6 John Vacne 07/01/2011 at 11:23 pm

    Its well known that incandescent bulbs waste energy. But it should be seen that they actually add to the heating of the typical American home in winter. It may not be much but if a home has many of these globes, then it adds up. In summer time of course this is reversed. The same goes for CRT monitors.
    I find it less than amusing that the public has invested in low energy consumption or green electrical items, and power generating stations have therefore had less need to upgrade their generators or build new power stations, but there has been no lower prices reflected by these giants. They would have had more power to sell due to this…Where is the justification?
    Where is my reduced power bill?

  7. 7 right_writes 08/01/2011 at 9:32 am


    “my local Tesco store is selling CFLs at prices from 8p to 20p each, and I’ve been clearing the shelf and stockpiling them while the subsidies are still on.”


    Cheaper than eggs and cabbages, I might stockpile a few meself, perfect for hurling at a passing politician.

  8. 8 Derek Reynolds 08/01/2011 at 9:38 am

    Any reduced power bill will be for the number of Watt hours consumed by the consumer. However, as power generation costs are about to soar due to so called ‘renewable technology’ and the UK government’s lack of resolve to build reliable power sources, the costs are also compounded by the need to maintain existing power stations IN ADDITION to those occasional arm waving monsters. That much will remain whether we use CFL’s or not. What is not generally recognised, is the wave form of the CFL in comparison to the incandescent bulb and how the difference is a problem to power generators and is precisely explained in this link:

    This was linked to by Richard in 2007 IIRC, but has been updated in Oct. 2010.

  9. 9 Derek Reynolds 08/01/2011 at 9:43 am

    Apologies AM, ‘Richard as in Dr. North! For a moment there I thought I was on EUreferendum!

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