In an editorial assailing light bulb efficiency standards signed into law by George W. Bush, the Wall Street Journal claims that “we will all be required to buy compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs.” The Journal adds:
The question an (allegedly) free society should ask is if CFL bulbs are so clearly superior, why does the government have to force people to buy them?
But just last week the Wall Street Journal’s own Gwendolyn Bounds reported that, contrary to the editorial’s claim, consumers will not be limited in their choices to CFLs:
Initially, consumers will find three main alternatives to incandescent bulbs on shelves: halogen-incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diodes (LED). Many are designed similarly to the familiar pear-shaped “A-Line” bulb consumers know. Halogens behave most like existing bulbs, but have an inner capsule filled with halogen gas around a filament to make the bulb about 25% more efficient than a traditional incandescent. They’re also the cheapest alternative at less than $2 each.
“It’s essentially a souped-up incandescent bulb,” says Peter Soares, director of marketing for consumer lighting at Philips Electronics North America.
The Journal’s own reporting establishes that the editorial board needs to issue a correction for falsely telling readers that they will be able to purchase only CFL bulbs after the new standards take effect.