Campaign launches to repeal incandescent light-bulb ban

A nationwide grassroots campaign launched this week asking Congress to repeal the ban on incandescent light bulbs. The effort is being pushed by FreedomAction, a self-described “web-based gathering of activists.”

The ban on incandescent light bulbs is scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2012. It was included in a comprehensive energy bill that President George W. Bush signed into law in 2007.

One of the ban’s chief sponsors, Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, is now the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. He’s promised a hearing on the ban, but so far no such hearing has been scheduled.

In December, when Upton was vying for the chairmanship, he changed positions on the mandatory switch from incandescent to CFL light bulbs. At the time, Upton said, “The last thing we wanted to do was infringe upon personal liberties — and this has been a good lesson that Congress does not always know best.”

Myron Ebell, director of FreedomAction, said in a statement announcing the campaign, “The light bulb ban is an outrageous government limitation on consumer choice and intrusion into the home of every American.”

Bills to repeal the ban have been introduced before. One, by Republican Reps. Joe Barton of Texas, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Michael Burgess of Texas was introduced last fall. A similar bill is expected later this month from Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

Supporters of the repeal can sign FreedomAction’s petition at