- Politics and Social Issues
The Light Bulb Ban - Let there be Light!
Our house (of Representatives that-is) has failed to overturn the energy bill of 2007 which will phase out our choice of light bulbs. House Republicans needed a two-thirds majority to overrule this carbon footprint bill. However, the vote ended with the 233 to 193 loss.
This steam-lining bill will phase out the old incandescent bulbs we have known since childhood in favor of the newer energy-efficient bulbs such as fluorescents. Starting New Year's of 2012, 100 watt bulbs will no longer be available in stores; 75 watt will be gone in 2013, and 60 & 40 watt bye-bye in 2014. So, wave goodbye to our old friends. Start stockpiling our childhood pals, for in just 3 short years, our standard bulbs will be antiques at auction...
Incandescent bulbs will still be available, but only if they are 25-30% more efficient than today's. Thus, we will have nothing on the bulb shelves asides for the eco-friendly kinds.
I'll admit, I use those neat looking spiral compact-fluorescents from General Electric (GE) from time to time. I think the light over my head right now is one of them... and maybe another one somewhere else around. So why does it seem like I am writing against them if I am currently using them? Well, I am not against energy-saving bulbs –I am no 'bulbist', 'bulb-racist', whatever– but I am strongly against that 2007 bill knocking on our personal choices.
The Republicans against the bill say that the bill is an attack on personal freedom. That's not the aspect that flips my switch. Rather, it is the timing. Yes it originated in 2007, however, the House had the chance to toss it away, but no.
In 2007, the economy was in a much better state, unemployment was at a significantly lower percentage and I could buy delicious Alaskan Crab. But today is a different day; unemployment is over 9%, everything from gas to eggs & toilet paper to beans is costing more and I can't buy imitation Crab...
O lawmakers in Washington, hear my plea! Be my guest and save the environment, but not at the expense of people!
This bill is at the wrong time. Many, many people are living paycheck to paycheck, trying to keep their lights on, their water flowing and their heat running. A 'green' bulb costs many times more than our original light givers. Yes they use less electricity, last longer & are more efficient and, so, lower our electric bills in the long run. However, those hurting financially today do not have the ability to see the long term. They are trying to survive, trying the make it through the short run. When your account is near bottom, are you going to grab the $7 bulb or the bulb you get change back from a buck? I think the answer is obvious, or at least it is for those who have been in a time of financial desperation. I don't think a struggling father wants to be forced to choose between a light bulb or baby food. United States Representatives! Represent us and give that man both.
People for this bill have not only attacked the old bulbs' energy usage, but also how 90% of their energy is heat, the heat radiating out of such a light. I could swear that heat would aid in keeping a struggling person's heating bill from breaking the bank. It's a balancing of the scales. When that person has to only use new bulbs and their heating bill rises in the winter, will the lower electric bill compensate 100% or more? Has such a study been done yet? No? Oh well.
Also, I think there may be bias for these new bulbs. I bare witness that, for me, the new fluorescent bulbs have lasted longer. However, a friend of mine, who bought the same brand, watched as the majority blew-out quicker than the old eco-killers. And, when he took a wattage-meter to the bulbs, he found that their wattage usage was higher than the package stated.
When it comes to those fluorescents, there is the hypocritical aspect. The bill will cause more fluorescent bulbs to hit the sockets and, eventually, hit the floor. The fluorescents have eco-unfriendly chemicals, including toxic mercury. When they break on the floor, a complicated process is needed for the cleanup. First, do you think a person working two jobs has time for that –instead of just quickly sweeping up the pieces? Secondly, how many of these bulbs are going to break in the garbage can, or burst open at the landfill? How much mercury is going to seep into mother earth's precious soil?
In conclusion, with prices going up on everything –making eating a financial bust– why is the government purposefully going out of its way to make yet another purchase bulge our eyes?