Thursday, December 20, 2007

Outlaw light bulbs and only outlaws will have light bulbs

In the pursuit of better energy use, has the government gone mad?

Washington, D.C. - Among the regulations packed into the newest energy bill that just passed Congress this week, a ban on the incandescent light bulb will officially end what Edison started 130 years ago. "If you outlaw light bulbs, then only outlaws will have light bulbs," says Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory.

"The ban on incandescent light bulbs may seem almost comical," says Cory, "but it raises several red flags on the level of government intrusion in people's lives. From the toilets in your bathroom to the lights in your ceiling, there are very few consumer products free from some form of government regulation. I seriously doubt regulating light bulbs was intended to be a necessary-and-proper role of the federal government."

Incandescent light bulbs will begin to be phased out in 2012, with a complete ban finalized in 2014. Manufacturers will be forced to switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, which can cost more than six times as much as the common incandescent bulb. While CFL bulbs are much more energy efficient, to maintain the bulb's longevity and achieve maximum efficiency, consumers must adhere to proper operating suggestions made by Congress, such as leaving the bulb turned on for at least 15 minutes.

"Not only do consumers have to alter how they use light in their houses, they must also take a number of precautions with CFL bulbs that were unnecessary when using incandescent bulbs," says Libertarian Party Media Coordinator Andrew Davis. "Because of the toxic levels of mercury in CFL bulbs, consumers will need to check with their waste management providers for proper disposal methods, and consumers will also have to research how to clean up broken bulbs. These bulbs may save energy in the long run, but at a great inconvenience to the consumer."

The Libertarian Party believes in free market solutions to environmental problems, and vehemently opposes government regulation that interferes with private business and personal liberty. The Libertarian Party also maintains that solutions cannot come from America's biggest polluter: the federal government.

"How many Americans does it take to change a light bulb?" Davis asks jokingly. "I guess we'll have to wait for next year's energy bill to find out."

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.


Blogger David McElroy said...

More thoughtless feel-good law! It does not consider some experience seizures caused by fluorescents! Some people are annoyed or distracted by them. Some of us just prefer the softer yellow light of incandescents over the stark white light of fluorescents.
Us visually impaired sorts often need a very bright light, like the 300 watt bulb, for which there is no fluorescent equivalent. What about specialized incandescents, like stadium lights or those bulbs in medical equipment? What about the decorative bulbs for such as chandeliers and Christmas trees?
This ban on incandescent bulbs was just thoughtless!

5:25 PM  

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