H.R. 91, The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, has been introduced in the House and could get voted on as early as Monday of next week. It is summarized as repealing "certain amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act with respect to lighting energy efficiency."

In Barton's view, it ends the ban on incandescent bulbs.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), introduced the bill and is taking on the cause of preserving the "traditional incandescent light bulb."

Barton is railing against "government regulators" who want to replace the inefficient incandescent with what Barton called "the little, squiggly, pig-tailed ones," according to an article in Talking Points Memo.

I will attempt to translate -- Barton appears to be talking about compact fluorescents. Unknown to Barton or his staff is that we're in the midst of the great lighting transformation, with solid-state LEDs on the cusp of transforming the lighting industry.  The Edison bulb and dinosaurs like Barton will soon be a relic and CFLs are an interim step. There is no doubt that CFLs do pose a mercury hazard.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, requires that general-purpose light bulbs that produce 310 to 2600 lumens be 30 percent more energy efficient than current incandescent bulbs by 2012 to 2014. The efficiency standards will start with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014. That ruling was passed in 2007 when George Bush was president. Specialty lights are exempt.  A number of other governments have passed laws to phase-out the use of the extremely inefficient Edison bulb.

Barton, eerily, was the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, now chaired by Fred Upton (R-MI).

Barton told an audience at the Heritage Foundation late last year, "Within the Energy and Commerce committee we are ground-zero in the effort to reestablish conservative principles in the Congress and by extension in the country."

"People don't want Congress dictating what light fixtures they can use," said Barton, the co-sponsor of the BULB bill according to The Ledger.


Here's a quote from Jim Lakely, Director of Communications,The Heartland Institute.

“CFLs are so harmful on so many levels, they’d likely be banned by EPA if Congress didn’t mandate them. It is hard to think of another routine household item that would stand up to EPA’s hypersensitivity to any smidgen of environmental and personal harm."

“Here is a product, that if knocked over by a cat or rambunctious 10-year-old, requires everything short of a haz-mat suit to clean up. And even when they just naturally burn out, CFLs require a special disposal requirement that millions of Americans will simply ignore – which means our landfills will soon be contaminated with harmful and unnecessary levels of mercury.

“For years I’ve figured this ban would never see the light of day, or night. Perhaps good sense, at long last, will finally prevail.”