Republicans fight to save the incandescent light bulb

In the early days of the 112th Congress, Reps. Joe Barton of Texas, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Michael Burgess of Texas, all Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee, will once again step in to attempt to save the incandescent light bulb. Today or tomorrow, the three representatives will reintroduce a bill to repeal legislation that would replace the incandescent light bulb with a more energy efficient alternative.

The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, better known as the BULB Act, calls for the repeal of the section of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that mandated ending the use of incandescent light bulbs in favor of a more energy efficient alternative. The act was first introduced in September of the 111th Congress, prompted by an article in the Washington Post reporting that the last GE incandescent light bulb factory in the United States would close that month.

The issue gained more prominence following the November election, as it was one of the dividing issues between Barton and Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton as they battled for the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton was one of the sponsors of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the bill that instituted the effective ban on incandescent light bulbs in the first place. Upton has since announced a change of heart on the subject, saying that the result was never intended to “infringe upon personal liberties.”

As a result of the increased prominence of the issue due to the chairmanship battle, the original three sponsors — Barton, Blackburn, Burgess — are waiting to see if any other members of Congress would like co-sponsor the bill before they reintroduce it, according to Sean Brown, press secretary to Barton.

The text of the BULB Act is the same as when it was introduced in the 111th Congress, but newly attached to the bill is a “statement … regarding the specific powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the accompanying bill or joint resolution,” pursuant to the new House rules enacted by Republicans. Barton, Burgess, and Blackburn find justification for this bill in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power, “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

  • RHO1953

    It is not a waste of time or energy to put a stop to government control of things which they have no business controlling. A continuous assault on the rights of the people to make their own decisions has been underway since 2006. Every little victory over the control freaks in the democrat party is important. We have allowed them to “mainstream” their form of mental illness and redefine “normal”. Or as Bennett said, “define deviancy down”. Deviancy is the operative word for a democrat.

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  • annbiz

    I shudder to think of how many of those poison mercury rip- off bulbs are all ready in landfills around the country.
    The sooner they rid us of them the better. Until that time, I continue to stock up on incandescents.
    You’d think environmentalists would be furious…(oops, thats right, they are Global Warming believers, and think the poison bulb is sacred.)

  • hampton

    Dems promote screwy lightbulbs, the Republicans prefer screwing the country.

    • theprofessor

      Of course it never occurred to you that the reason the Dems pushed the “screwy bulbs” in the first place was because of the lobbying done by the EVIL CORPORATIONS that contributed MILLIONS of dollars to democrats’ campaigns? More faulty scientific ends to justify their means….

    • jonavark

      so profoundly stupid. Poor sod. Posted five or six time without saying anything.

      Hampton also probably does not know that the replacement bulbs ushered in after this bit of nonsense legislation are far more harmful to the environment than incandescent bulbs. Of course, Hamper has no clue, as usual.

      This will all be irrelevant in a few years when the mercury laden bulbs are replaced with LEDs.

      I do enjoy watching Hamper squirm though. Always in way over its head.

  • hampton

    I’m so relieved the Republicans are in power now, and they’re really focusing on the important business of the nation. (Always knew they were the party of dim bulbs.)

    • didacticrogue

      Oh, what a conveniently faulty vessel is the mind of the statist.

      As a reminder, this was such a hot issue for Pelosi and her henchmen back in ’07 that they made it a cornerstone of their celebratory “100 Hour Agenda” at the outset of the 110th congress.

      How the mighty have fallen, that one of their most committed apologists now besmirches the agenda and legacy of those standard bearers of “progressive”-think.

      • truebearing

        How bad are things for the left when they should apologize for their apologists, and have them committed?

        • truebearing

          Hey! Hamster! Look up here, and stop gnawing on ankles for a second. Since didacticrogue was good enough to repeatedly explain his comments to you, I will too.

          My crack about the apologists was implying that the left has to apologize for your apologetics, and that they should commit you, as in put you in the loony bin. Get it now?

          I hate insulting hamsters. They never get anything. It takes all the fun out of it!

      • hampton

        So your defense of this inanity is “they did it too.” Gee, I thought this was supposed to be the new and improved Congress. You’re telling me your fine with the same old, same old. Got it.

        Keep stockpiling your bulbs and MREs, truebearing. Unless we address this very important issue of lightbulbs, the end is surely nigh.

        • bigsigh

          Little by little liberals gladly hand the government one small freedom after another. If they were as smart as they keep telling us they are, they would keep their freedom and make these “fixes” through the free market. They believe the government should do everything for them. The problem is, what they haven’t figured out, it’s not about the environment, the public’s health, or any other “progressive” cause, it’s about power and control. What happens when all our freedom has been given away and those in power/control don’t see things quite the same as you would like. May I remind you, Hitler was elected with 92% of the vote.

        • didacticrogue

          So your defense of this inanity is ‘they did it too.’

          Just in case you’re really interested and not blowing smoke up your own backside: If you’ll bother to read beyond this page of comments to the next, you’ll see my defense of “this insanity.” I apologize for having erroneously given you credit for having done so already – I at times forget that there are some for whom the bar of veracity must be repeatedly and aggressively lowered.

          I simply found it entertaining that you are now ready to throw ex-speaker Peolosi and the rest of the Democrat-controlled 110th under the proverbial bus. If abrogating the rights of the citizens was so paramount to the “progressive” agenda, why, the electorate having now categorically spurned that agenda, is talk of restoring those rights unimportant? (Let me give you a hint here: It is not.)

          Just in case you still haven’t located the “previous” button below, I’ll paraphrase what I said to your товарищ “Flips” on the first page: We all understand that you “progressives” embrace the idea of the federal government (and its bureaucracy) deciding what each of us can and cannot buy, do, eat, and say. The rest of us, not so much.

          • hampton

            You should be thanking me for giving you yet another opportunity for displaying your pontificating pomposity. (Ooooo, I can post in Cyrillic, look at me!) If you don’t believe that “they did it too” is a defense, why did you make a point of lecturing me about what Dems have done in the last Congress?

            Even with all your verbosity, you can’t make your point without lying. You’re assuming something about me that is not in evidence, i.e. that I was in favor of banning incandescent bulbs.

            Heck, I thought this Congress was supposed to be all about jobs, jobs, jobs. Instead, your “leaders” come out of the chute with lightbulb reform, healthcare “repeal” that is planned as nothing more than a dog & pony show, and Issa’s showboating, unfocused “investigations.” Pardon my simple language, oh pompous one, but this is just the same old, same old crap — only this time from your side of fence.

          • didacticrogue

            Some words just have more impact in their original language. I’ll try and remember to transliterate for you in the future, tovareeshch. And I’m sorry if “big words” make your head hurt – I’ve been told for decades that my vocabulary confuses some people, but I find it a struggle to use several small words where one perfectly good one will do.

            Not surprisingly, you missed my point: It’s not “they did it too!” to say that one group of morons broke something and this group (of unproven intellect) wants to correct that bungling. Restating: if it was important enough to break, it’s important enough to fix … otherwise, and by the same argument, nothing that has been broken will ever be fixed (and it’s a target-rich environment).

            “Lying?” I honestly don’t see the “lie,” but if you’re in favor of repealing the ban on incandescents, I may have (understandably?) misinterpreted your belittlement of the new 112th congress as rejection of the subject of the article. “Lying?” Your characterization is hyperbolic and disingenuous.

            My intention here was not to advocate for the entirety of our leaders’ (for better or worse, they’re yours too now – just as Pelosi and company were mine for the past four years) potential agenda, but to defend their repeal of this onerous ban, which I now come to find you may very well support, as well. Go figure.

          • hampton

            Oh yes, you’re so much smarter, because you use “big words.” Of course. Thanks for making that clear. What a condescending, pompous a$$ you are. We are not “comrades” in any language or alphabet.

            Let me make make my point clear, you pretentious poot, so you can stop lying about my position. Bulbs never were a priority, and they should not be a priority now. This bulb issue is wasteful nonsense when unemployment remains rampant. And I have wasted far too much of my time explaining that simple thought to you.

          • didacticrogue

            Oh yes, you’re so much smarter, because you use ‘big words.’

            There’s a fallacy in your logic. Just because you interpret the language I use as “pompous,” “pontificating,” “pretentious,” “condescending,” and self-aggrandizing (“Ooooo … look at me!”) doesn’t mean that I think I’m “so much smarter.” In fact, I can state unequivocally that I do not. Try not to let your own feelings of inadequacy color your opinions of others – it’s summarily unbecoming.

            Again with calling me a liar. I lied when I said _____________ about your position?

            So all else is nonsense until the economy is back on an even keel? The Democrats have had four years of congressional control and full control of the government for the past two, and all they’ve managed to do is frack it up far worse than when they got it. It took us four years to get to this point – reason dictates that it’s probably going to take more than two days to dig us out of this “progressive” hole they’ve dug for us.

            You’re obviously having a bad day. Take a few more bong hits and get back to your Xbox.

          • hampton

            Because I call you on pomposity, of course I’m a pot-smoking, video game player. No, you’re not too full of yourself. Carry on, Jeeves.

          • truebearing


            Thanks for continuing to comment. It was a clinic on how to lose a debate, discredit your cause, and make an ass out of yourself all at the same time! Good job!!!

            You missed the point of my other comment, but having watched didacticrogue’s considerable efforts to elicit some kind of intelligent response from you, I have decided it’s not worth the time and effort to explain what I meant.

          • didacticrogue

            Because I call you on pomposity, of course I’m a pot-smoking, video game player.

            No, I came to that conclusion from the positions you espouse and your general comportment … but thanks for playing.

    • truebearing


      That dim bulb crack was really clever. How do you do it?

      I don’t suppose you see the symbolism in the left wanting bulbs that are all screwed up.

      • theprofessor

        Lightbulbs that look like curly fries should be outlawed! They remind people to each bad things.

    • rigdum funidos

      it’s important to me–those new bulbs are expensive and give horrible light. if you allow the government to tell you what kind of light bulb you can have, especially when the news one have serious environmental problems that the old ones do no–you have no concern about personal liberty. what’s next: telling us what deorderant we can use? or maybe telling us what doctor we have to see?

  • kaziklibey

    There are certain applications for which only incandescent bulbs are suitable. Even if that were not the case, the last thing we need is the state making our decisions for us.