Rep. Joe Barton: Save the Incandescent Light Bulb

by Greg Pollowitz

Rep. Barton writes in USA Today:

Voters sent a message in November that it is time for politicians and activists in Washington to stop interfering in Americans’ lives and manipulating the free market. The light bulb ban is a glaring example of that frustration.

When I introduced the BULB Act (Better Use of Light Bulbs Act — HR 91) with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. Michael Burgess, and 12 of our Republican colleagues, it wasn’t designed as an attack on energy conservation. It was to defend personal freedom.

People don’t want Congress dictating the lighting they can use. Traditional incandescent bulbs have been brightening the night since Thomas Edison created the first one in 1879. They are safe, cheap and reliable.

This de facto ban has nothing to with public safety because unlike lead paint, leaded gasoline and asbestos, the old-fashioned light bulbs in your home pose no danger.

It is a different story for the most prominent alternative, compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. They are more expensive, contain hazardous mercury, and recently The Wall Street Journal reported that their promised longevity is exaggerated by almost 33%. Tests by an electric company in California show the CFLs have higher burnout rates in areas where lights are turned on and off frequently, such as bathrooms. Then there are consumer complaints that they emit a light that is annoying and in severe cases even gives them headaches.

So why force them on the American people?

The rest here.