The GOP’s Dim Bulb Bill

March 10th, 2011 at 12:47 am | 54 Comments |

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This week the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will have a hearing on Senator Mike Enzi’s “Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, rx ” which has also been introduced in the House by Joe Barton (R-TX) along with a similar measure by Michele Bachmann. The legislation seeks to repeal a provision of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act that sets energy efficiency requirements for light bulbs.

Proponents of this assault on energy efficiency claim that the 2007 legislation bans incandescent light bulbs and that their legislation strikes a blow for freedom by protecting consumer choice in lighting.

Don’t be surprised if Glenn Beck dedicates an upcoming blackboard diagram to the great light bulb conspiracy and asserts that the right of Americans to use inefficient lighting is actually spelled out in the U.S. Constitution.

What’s next, a resolution renaming the energy guzzling incandescent as the Freedom Bulb?

Notwithstanding the “bulb ban” rhetoric, the law does not ban incandescent lighting, or any other lighting technology for that matter. Instead, it sets energy efficiency standards for lighting, like the appliance standards in existing federal law that date back to the Reagan administration.

The 2007 law requires that starting next year general purpose 100 watt light bulbs will have to give off an equivalent amount of light (1,500 lumens) using only 72 watts of electricity. While that gives a leg up to energy sipping florescent and LED lighting, the reality is that Phillips already produces a halogen incandescent that exceeds the 2012 standard.

(Note: Senator Enzi and his cohorts can confirm this if they will just trot on over to the nearest Lowe’s or Home Depot.)

Similar requirements will take effect in 2013 and 2014 for incandescent bulbs rated for lower levels of light output. Exempt from the requirements are incandescent bulbs used for special applications – refrigerator lights, for example.

Framing the issue in terms of productivity, a conventional incandescent bulb produces about 15 lumens per watt. If the incandescent were a worker, it would be fired for poor productivity. Ninety percent of the input energy that goes into incandescent bulbs produces waste heat.

A 26-watt compact florescent bulb (CFL) will yield a similar amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent, so it’s four times as productive. Newer LED lighting, which is rapidly gaining market share despite being pricey, is even more productive. LED bulbs put out more than 100 lumens per watt.

Lighting productivity is important. We don’t buy electricity for the sake of collecting electrons. We buy electricity for the services it provides – running computers, chilling food, running appliances, and lighting our homes.

The more light you can get per dollar spent on electricity, the better off you will be economically. Not only that, CFLs and LEDs last much longer than incandescent bulbs.

President Reagan obviously thought that efficiency standards made sense. They did not offend his conservative values, nor should they. Can anyone think of anything less conservative than waste? For the same reason conservatives should oppose wasteful spending, they should also oppose wasteful energy use.

So why would anyone be against standards that result in more efficient products that save consumers money, conserve energy, and improve our environment with virtually no real sacrifice?

Of course these libertarian champions of waste who seek to save the inefficient light bulb complain that any standards are symptomatic of an overly intrusive nanny-state.

They also heap all sorts of criticism on CFLs. This is not all that relevant since the standards do not contain any mandate on technology. Odds are that LEDs will dominate the market once prices come down.

Still, it is worth pointing out that the CFL criticism is off the mark too. Typical complaints are that CFLs produce poor lighting quality, cost more, and that they contain dangerous levels of mercury. Most of these criticisms are based on older generations of CFLs. Today’s CFLs, while not perfect, simply don’t have many of the flaws their predecessors did.

As for the mercury issue, each CFL bulb contains about 5 milligrams of mercury and they do need to be disposed of properly, just like batteries, used motor oil, cell phones etc.

If mercury is the concern, then think about the mercury emitted by all the coal burned to light up those inefficient incandescent bulbs.

Popular Mechanics ran the numbers – one 75-watt incandescent is responsible for nearly four times as much mercury emissions as one 25-watt CFL over the estimated 7,500 hours that a CFL lasts. Even if all the mercury in CFLs were released into the environment, incandescents would still be responsible for more mercury emissions.

It is quite telling how little confidence the sponsors of the “Better Use of Light Bulbs Act” have in American businesses to innovate and produce a product that responds to today’s energy challenges.  If anyone is trying to mandate a specific technology— and an old one at that—it is these misguided Republicans.

Recent Posts by David Jenkins

54 Comments so far ↓

  • greg_barton

    The best LED bulb I’ve seen so far is this one:

    429 lumens at 8.6 watts, just under 50 lumens per watt. Home depot also sells a slightly more expensive bulb that has a softer light. I’ve bought about seven of each and I like them much better than CFLs.

  • rbottoms

    Pretty lengthy in depth and thoughtful review of the subject.

    But you left out the most important consideration for the GOP: Does it hurt president Obama?

    If the answer is yes then they support it. Screw science, or common sense.

    • Elvis Elvisberg

      Yep, that’s about it.

      Sure, there’s a sound philosophical conservative justification for avoiding waste. But philosophical conservatism has nothing to do with today’s Republican Party.

      Republicans have no policy views. They’re a tribe of people who experience deep emotions of fear and resentment when they think about liberals and foreigners.

      This post is a well-considered examination of a matter of public policy. Therefore, it is not relevant to Republicans.

  • busboy33

    Sure the GOP-run parts of the Government as epically mired in pure foolishness . . . but you can’t deny they are entertaining as hell.

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  • andydp

    And this bill relates to job creation how ?

  • JeninCT

    I hate those compact fluorescent bulbs. They take too long to get to full light, they do not last as long as everyone claims (they lose life quicker when you turn them on and off), they’re expensive and they’re toxic.

    I agree it’s not the most pressing matter but seriously, that legislation was unnecessary and it was a gift to GE.

  • cdorsen

    Agreed Jenin. Yes, I am more libertarian minded, but I assure you my libertarian values have nothing to do with my hatred of these new light bulbs. I tried them, and HATE them. I do not hate the environment, common sense, Obama, or anything else. I hate the awkward light they produce and the headache it gives me in my home. Now, my choice in the future is headache or darkness. I also hate the the extra care of which I have to give such a fragile object. Disposing of a cell phone or battery properly may be a pain, but at least if I drop it, I don’t get a shower of toxins making my living space unlivable. How about we let industry catch up with the demand for a longer lasting more energy efficient light bulb without the side effects?

  • gobsmacked

    I read the title and saw “GOP” and “dim bulb” and thought it was another Palin article.

  • ScoopAway

    I grew up Republican. It was one of my basic indentity markers like ‘female’ ‘American’, . I used to be proud of it becasue ‘we’ stood for something good. I’m still registered as one, but not for long.

    Things have been changing over the years. After Iraq, Bush, Cheney, financial irresponsiblity, the Palin circus, Limbaugh, Beck, changes to rape definition, anti breast feeding, I didn’t think the Republicans could get any worse, ….but they seem to have no bounds of stupidity, lack of integrity and mindless automatic backlash.

    It’s been one incredible assault after another. This morning after hearing about the Republican sneakiness in WI, and now something as mundane as light bulbs… the light of hope has finally gone completely out.

    I can truly say this morning I hate everything Republican. Yes, hate.

    And if I have come this far, there are many others who feel the same.

    • TerryF98

      If you wish to demonstrate your dissatisfaction on this abuse of power please donate $3,$5 or $10 to the recall effort here.

    • Carney

      No one changed the definition of rape.

      The Smith bill’s use of the term “forcible rape” was no innovation.

      Consistent pro-lifers have always wanted to ban all abortions, or failing that end taxpayer-funded abortions. The rape exception is offensive because it presumes that humans conceived by rape are less human and less deserving of a right to live than other humans.

      Thus, dedicated pro-lifers, seeking to save as many innocent unborn humans as possible, or at least require their deaths to happen at the expense of the abortion industry rather than the taxpayer, undertook to remove at least one segment of the offensive rape exception away from the taxpayer dole.

      Contrary to abortion-industry hysteria, this IN NO WAY “redefined” rape, legalized any form of rape, etc. Banning (let alone de-funding) abortion is not legalizing rape. In fact, for much of American history, while abortion was banned, rape was punishable by EXECUTION.

      In fact, it was the “pro-choice” leaning side of the Supreme Court that supported the 1976 Cover v. Georgia decision (banning the death penalty for rape), and the 2008 Kennedy v. Louisiana decision (banning the death penalty for child rape). Shaky ground from which to accuse others of disrespecting women by being soft on rape.

    • Carney

      And what an absurd, hysterical post. You’re so filled with bitter zealous eagerness to impose your light bulb choices on other Americans (of all the pointless, obnoxiously intrusive, petty over-regulations imaginable!) that you erupt in rage at the Republican Party and pronounce yourself to be in a state of hatred against “everything Republican”?

  • kuri3460

    This is a symptom of a bigger problem, which is the infantile reasoning that’s been the basis of the entire Republican Party platform for at least five years.

    I still don’t understand how things like the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, and the Defense of Marriage Act are viewed positively as measures which are necessary to keep us safe, make teachers accountable, or defend traditional family values, while increasing efficiency standards on light bulbs or raising the nutritional standards for school lunches are seen as tyrannical intrusions of big government.

  • CitizenWhig

    “I agree it’s not the most pressing matter but seriously, that legislation was unnecessary and it was a gift to GE.” – JeninCT

    I am purposefully being insulting. You are a complete and utter moron. This is by no means a “gift” to GE. They are getting out of the CFL manufacturing business. They use third parties to provide product on a private label basis.

    As to the toxicity of CFLs, you get more mercury in a bite of tuna than you would from a broken CFL. Wake up and stop being such fool.

    • JeninCT

      You can insult me all you want but that doesn’t make you correct. CFL giveways were done with government credits for green initiatives even if they were manufactured in China.

  • CitizenWhig

    “I also hate the the extra care of which I have to give such a fragile object. Disposing of a cell phone or battery properly may be a pain, but at least if I drop it, I don’t get a shower of toxins making my living space unlivable.” – cdorsen

    You’re an idiot too. If you would like to know why Republicans get tagged with being anti-intellecutal and not as smart as the “elitist” democrats, just look at the deliberately misinformed statements made by you and others of your ilk. You sir, are a moron.

    • Traveler


      You don’t need to get so vituperative because someone is mistaken about some innocuous issue. You totally perfect yourself? Never made one misinformed statement? Both Jen and Cdorsen have posted some well reasoned comments previously. Even if I might not agree with most of their perspectives, that doesn’t mean I have to snipe away under the cover of anonymity.

      Save the spite for truly nasty posts, of which there are plenty to choose.

      • JeninCT

        Thank you, Traveler.

      • CitizenWhig

        Deliberately ignorant posts are the nastiest posts out there. JeninCT is a serial offender on this front. She has absolutely no knowledge of how the CFL technology works and is merely parroting talking points fed to her from her right wing echo chamber. She is truly a fool, and should be called on it at every turn. Perhaps if the intelligent and rational people in this country made the effort to shout down the vocal ignorant, we wouldn’t be contending with a Republican party that has so fully embraced the politics of emotion while abandoning its lineage of reason.

  • ScoopAway

    “… infantile reasoning…”

    “Wake up and stop being such fool.”

    “You sir, are a moron.”

    Don’t forget you are addressing the bankrupt “Drill, baby, drill” mentality.

  • MSheridan

    Note to Mr. Jenkins:

    While I found your op-ed interesting and informative, I feel you might wish to know that the word is “fluorescent,” not “florescent.” The first refers to a scientific phenomenon named after fluorite, a substance that not infrequently glows. The second sounds as if it has something to do with the growth of flowers.

  • Panta Rei

    Agree that it’s a pity the focus is on CFLs

    All lights have their advantages,
    this ban on a safe-to-use product is wrong for many other reasons
    (the regulations are simply to reduce energy consumption and emissions
    – so bankrupt California and federal USA could tax instead of ban the current 2 Billion bulb sales, and cross-subsidize other bulbs to make them cheaper, and/or help pay for home insulation etc, lowering energy use and emissions more than any remaining taxed bulbs raise them)

    It is of course a ban:
    Any light not meeting the standard is banned,
    and energy efficient incandescents like Halogens still have differences in construction,
    light output type etc as well as in costing much more, compared to simple ordinary bulbs.

    There is a murkier side behind the push to use CFLs, apart from the official energy reduction reason:
    The profit-seeking industrial politics behind the ban, as covered on
    with documentation and copies of official communications

  • Panta Rei

    Re Coal mercury emissions being worse than CFL mercury

    Again, agreed, that coal emissions (of sulphur, mercury, and other toxins) are nothing to be welcomed

    for many reasons CFL mercury is worse, in
    particular for USA + Canada, as explained:
    which covers emission reduction mandates using new technology etc

    More extensively:
    The CFL Mercury Issue
    Breakage — Recycling — Dumping — Mining — Manufacturing — Transport –
    Power Plants

    Quote (with some editing ):
    In a nutshell:
    1. We know where the ever decreasing local coal power plant chimneys
    are and we can treat their emissions with ever increasing efficiency
    at lower costs
    (the website itself references USA EPA power plant emission reduction policy using
    new technology, under EPA admin Lisa Jackson)
    2. Compare that with a broken CFL at home, with mercury release on the spot.
    3. Also compare that with future billions of scattered broken CFLs
    elsewhere, when we do not know where all the broken lights will be, and so
    it is much harder and often impossible to do anything about them.
    4. Also compare that with any recycled CFLs, with its own mercury release,
    including the mercury release from any shipping transport from, and
    back to, China for new CFL manufacturing, apart from the mining and manufacturing issues
    as mentioned.

    • JeninCT

      And all those Democrats screaming about worker’s rights ought to be outraged by the poisoning of the Chinese workers who are making these lights.

  • dmnolan

    Energy, Independence & Security Act of 2007 was signed into law by President G. W. Bush. Just pandering to his liberal base, I guess.

  • sinz54

    Jenkins sez: “Ninety percent of the input energy that goes into incandescent bulbs produces waste heat.”

    Many of us New Englanders don’t “waste” that heat.

    Five 150 watt incandescent bulbs produce nearly 700 watts of heat, about as much as the “low” setting on an electric space heater. In the cold New England winters, those incandescent bulbs produce so much heat that we don’t need to run our heaters as much. And a single bulb burning in a closet,, warms and lights the closet to hinder mildew growth.

    When I switched from incandescents to CFLs, I immediately noticed that my bathroom got a lot chillier, particularly on a cold winter morning. And you don’t want to run a space heater in there; it’s dangerous due to the floor being wet so often.

  • Churl

    Here’s what the EPA suggests you do to clean up a broken CFL bulb:
    For starters:
    Before cleanup
    Have people and pets leave the room.
    Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
    Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
    Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb.
    ….and there’s more to do, as you can read at the link.

    I wish that the Koch Brothers were pushing these things, then CFLs would be banned as hazardous materials.

    By the way, these things contain Mercury vapor and are assembled in Chinese factories. What could possibly go wrong there?

  • ScoopAway

    “I wish that the Koch Brothers were pushing these things, then CFLs would be banned as hazardous materials.”

    Uh, the Koch brothers are in energy. It would not be in their best financial interests for people to use CFLs to conserve. It is people like the Koch brothers who are probably helping to finance the Republican move against CFLs figuring the sheep are too dumb to notice. Again.

    I’ve switched almost all my incandescent bulbs to CFLs the past few years. This has cut about 20% from my electric bill. I don’t mind being inconvienced a fraction of a second for them to light up for significant savings.

    Pssst…Republicans…. Yes, I’m talking to you…. Obama hates CFLs! ….So let’s all go buy and use ‘em.

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  • Carney

    Some energy issues are worth federal intervention because inaction directly threatens our economy and national security. Specifically, it’s important to end oil’s monopoly status as the sole source of transportation motive power.

    However, promoting increased efficiency in electricity does not qualify, since oil is barely used anymore for electricity generation. Coal, natural gas, nuclear power, hydro-electric dams, and green power (combined, the source of 97% of our electricity) do not fund terrorism.

    Thus, the federal government should stay out of this. It’s almost a parody of over-reaching government. If people want to have more efficient light bulbs, they’ll buy ‘em. If not, TOO BAD.

  • djenkins

    MSheridan, thanks for catching that. I cannot figure out why I left out the u. I certainly didn’t mean to give a nod to flower power :-)

  • LFC

    Today’s right-wingnuts. Taking “conserve” out of “conservative”.

  • ScoopAway

    “Today’s right-wingnuts. Taking “conserve” out of “conservative”.”

    My, oh my! and being so concerned about mercury! When have they ever given a rat’s ass about the environment? What does mercury have to do with creating jobs or, lol, their pet abortion and gay marriage issues? Talk about a party that’s splattered in all directions upon hitting the floor.

    Poor darlings must be snorting too much Koch.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    great article Mr. Jenkins. I have LED lights in my home and I love them. Since I live in Mexico I can easily buy incandescent bulbs but it is a pain in the ass to have to to run to the store whenever any go out. Since I bought them I have basically completely forgotten about that need, and my electricity bill has gone way, way down which frees up money to buy other things.

    As to Sinz and his chilly bathroom, one, open the bathroom door. It is simply nuts to think of using light bulbs to heat your house. And why doesn’t your bathroom have heat? Did they not add vents there? My bathroom in the states is actually the warmest room in the house since it is a small enclosed space.

    Carney, you are making no sense. More and more dual hybrid and all electric cars are being built and sold, which places a demand on the electrical grid. Now you might not like plug in hybrids, but they exist and a lot of people are using them. Get over it already and stop pretending that they don’t exist. Anything that lessens our foreign dependence on oil is a good thing, but if everyone used plug in hybrids and incandescents there is no way in hell we would have the capacity.

    And this is not a parody of over reaching government. We are at war in 2 countries, would you have bitched in WW2 at war time restrictions?

    This is such a no brainer of an issue, the excuses…my toes get chilly in the bathroom during winter (as to summer, gotta blast that AC a bit more to overcome the heating effect) …no cars run on electricity (except for those that do) so why bother being efficient, as though coal will last forever and ever, God puts it back in as we take it out…or something. And me no likey CFL’s, which is bs. Buy LED’s then and save even more money. Or some people like to piss money away for NO REASON whatsoever.

    Anti-Science old farts is all the Republican party has become.

    • Elvis Elvisberg

      “Anti-Science old farts is all the Republican party has become.”

      Now, now, let’s not sell the GOP short.

      They also don’t like immigrants, Muslims, and black people.

    • Carney

      Tempest, oil is a national security issue. But we barely use oil to generate electricity anymore. The portion of our electricity supply coming from oil has come down from nearly 20% in the 1970s to barely 3% today. Unless you live in Hawaii or a handful of other places, when you flip on the lights, you are NOT burning oil. Since we don’t import coal, nuclear power, hydro-electric power, solar, or wind, and barely if at all import natural gas, electricity is NOT a national security issue.

      As for plug-in cars, I’m all for them, but we can move an enormous portion of our auto fleet to plug-ins without needing to expand electricity production capacity. This is because plug-ins recharge late at night or in the wee hours of the morning – off-peak times when there’s huge slack capacity in the grid. No need for imposing desperate wartime austerity measures like forcing us to use harsh, blue, flickering, slow-starting, mercury filled pricey light bulbs. And if people want to waste their own money on incandescents for good reasons or bad, IT’S A FREE COUNTRY.

      On science, just see how enthusiastic the Left is on science as Larry Summers was hounded out of Harvard, as researchers on hereditary IQ differences are viciously harassed, as Indian tribes demand that Kennewick Man be buried lest inconvenient facts be discovered, as manned space exploration is scrapped in favor of Muslim outreach as NASA’s mission. That’s not even counting the hordes of tenured, tax-eating, youth-brainwashing academics who dismiss science and objective reason as a white male patriarchal construct that oppresses and devalues “alternative knowledge systems.”

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    Hey, Elvis, how much do you want to bet JeninCT has never once spent a day down in a coal mine digging out the coal needed to power our country? But hey, coalminers dying decades before their time is too bad compared to the essential right to needlessly waste energy. As to the future generations, well certainly God will magically replace the coal.

    The Republicans climb a new mountain of stupidity every day.

    • JeninCT

      No I have never been down in a coal mine but I lived in coal country and understand the hazards very well. There have been tremendous improvements in mine safety, including fewer deaths:

      “Where annual coal mining deaths had numbered more than 1,000 a year in the early part of the 20th century, they decreased to an average of about 451 annual fatalities in the 1950s, and to 141 in the 1970s. The yearly average in coal mining decreased to 30 fatalities from 2001-2005.”

      Ask the coal miners if they like having a job? I think their answers would surprise you. I have a problem with CFL’s. I am not against clean energy where it is proven effective, so save your pompous sarcasm.

  • Churl

    ScoopAway // Mar 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm says, “Uh, the Koch brothers are in energy. It would not be in their best financial interests for people to use CFLs to conserve. It is people like the Koch brothers who are probably helping to finance the Republican move against CFLs figuring the sheep are too dumb to notice. Again.”

    Scooper, turn up the sensitivity on your irony detector.

    Scoop again, “I’ve switched almost all my incandescent bulbs to CFLs the past few years. This has cut about 20% from my electric bill. I don’t mind being inconvienced a fraction of a second for them to light up for significant savings.”

    Good for you and your electricity bill. As far as I care anyone who wants to can put CFLs anywhere they want, including their light sockets. What I object to is using the force of Federal law to make everyone else use them.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    “I have a problem with CFL’s.” Then buy LEDs. There, problem solved. And I am sorry if you are offended that I use sarcasm to highlight the essential facts that: Coal mining is dangerous and it is a moral responsibility of those who use coal to use it wisely. And coal is also a non renewable resource, so again, not using energy wisely steals from succeeding generations. Finally, we are in a war over energy with hundreds of thousands of soldiers abroad risking their lives so that is another reason why we must use energy responsibly.

    I suppose Churl you would have been pissed off by energy restrictions during WW2, how dare the American government ration anything just because we are in a war, right? Have you no decency? WE ARE AT WAR. What part of WAR do you not understand? The money we save on energy could reduce our dependence on oil imports, which we could use to offer tax credits for greater efficiency towards purchase of highly fuel efficient plug in hybrids, which would reduce the flow of money to jihadists of the kind that did 9/11.
    Honestly, the selfishness of Republicans today is astounding, for NO GOOD REASON.

    If not being a selfish a-hole makes me pompous, then I am proud to be pompous.

    And Jen, saying coal miners should be thankful to have jobs which is far and away one of the most dangerous in the world is reprehensible. We should be thankful for them going in the mines risking their lives to provide us the energy we use to live. That is the difference between you and I. I appreciate coal miners and respect them, I respect their work by not being wasteful (by the way, my electricity is provided by a windmill farm so I am completely sustainable, I ride my bike to work and the store, etc. but I still am thankful for miners)

    If we had cheap fusion nuclear power, then bring back incandescents but we don’t.

    • JeninCT

      And Jen, saying coal miners should be thankful to have jobs which is far and away one of the most dangerous in the world is reprehensible.

      That is not what I said. I said to ask the miners if they like having a job. Big difference. Of course I appreciate miners, my point was that they appreciate having jobs.

    • Churl

      “I suppose Churl you would have been pissed off by energy restrictions during WW2, how dare the American government ration anything just because we are in a war, right? Have you no decency? WE ARE AT WAR. What part of WAR do you not understand?”

      Tempest, please, lie down for five minutes and relax while breathing slowly and deeply. Have mommy or someone cool your fevered brow with a cool wet towel.

      We’re talking Light Bulbs here. Light Bulbs.

  • ScoopAway

    “As to the future generations, well certainly God will magically replace the coal.”

    No, religious Republicans dont have to conserve a dang thing because the ‘end of the world’ will come and they’ll be taken up to ‘heaven’ to sit on all those fluffy white clouds before we run out of ‘stuff’.

    That’s why protecting the environment doesn’t matter either. The earth is here for man to use and abuse in any and every way until ‘the end of times’. No need for God to replace anything – man is on earth just temporarily.

    That mind-set is scary.

  • greg_barton

    Tempest, no need to wait for fusion when thorium power is on the way. ;)

  • Jean Granville

    So you are assuming people want to lose money ???

  • Tempest in a Frumpot


    Yeah, and you would have told Churchill during the blitz, relax, I don’t want to turn off my lights..we are talking about light bulbs.

    Did you bash your head against the wall before you wrote what you did to make yourself write stupidly? You did a good job.

    And bizarre mommy fixation you got there. Is that what your mommy does daily because I simply would never have thought about bringing mothers into this conversation. Kind of a major slip there on your part.

    Lighting is the major source of energy drain from our electrical grid…so yes, d’uh you braindead fool, we are talking about lightbulbs. And when I talk about fuel efficiency will you say, relax, we are just talking about gas?

    • Churl

      Tempest, this light bulb business is not World War II. We are discussing the appropriateness of Federal coercion about minutiae, not night bombing by the Luftwaffe.

      Proportion, Tempest. Keep a sense of proportion.

  • Iamm

    Those that use completely unfounded, shortsighted, narrow-minded future possibilities against another to in an attempt to belittle their view should be ashamed.

    Man-o-man, how easy it is to look at the past and bash it with “current knowledge”. Do you not see the problem with this kind of thinking? I’m not going to explain it, if you can’t understand it, I don’t know what to say. It’s as if all we live in a static world that has never changed and never will. I’ll quote someone earlier… “That mind-set is scary.” – From both sides of the isle.

    Listen, I’d very much doubt the people called “fill in the blank” don’t care about the environment. I think so-and-so very well knows; if the environment is ruined they would be also. This strawman can only manifest in emotional arguments and is very useful to shadow the logical side, unfortunately.

    IMO, the underlining fundamental of mandates like this bulb one doesn’t seem to be about energy conservation or protecting/saving the environment like the surface suggests. (Suppose I had a solar panel/ home wind turbine to “help” light the evil, wasteful, if you use it you don’t care about the future or children and hate the environment and are dumb god fearing morons that want people to die gathering natural resources so greedy people can use it all up and not share, incandescent bulb.) To me, its reeks of the growing web of government, ever so slightly, by using people against themselves. Making a future case for more government… ever so slightly. We do need some government, don’t get me wrong. We need an entity that can represent us as a whole (us, we the people) in order to have some sort of “chance” for individual/group rights to be defended against other nations, peoples/groups/unions, corps, banks, etc.

    If this matter was about shrinking the government environmental corruption pollution footprint on you, me, society… then maybe I would consider fighting for it.


    IT’S A BULB PEOPLE, A FREAKING BULB!!!! What’s next? ( I feel like that drinkingwithbob guy… sheesh. “Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where’s the Tylenol?”)


    P.S. Bring on the labels, marginalization, classification and division it really helps, really. I just don’t understand how an honest preconceived opinion can be formed from based on a party’s philosophical view before understanding all aspects of a particular upcoming or future issue.

  • Rockerbabe

    No they will not!

    One has to believe that science really matters in the current as well as long run view of life in general. The GOP is against any science that would help someone other than themselves and would be a cause for their rich friends to have to change their wasteful ways.

    Now, if we could get the scientist to come up with a tsunami that is selective enough to hit only certain GOP districts, then I would say go for it!

  • djenkins

    It’s just a FREAKING BULB?

    If every American home replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a CFL, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, save more than $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

    Waste is not conservative, nor is an attitude of “let me do what I want no matter the cost.” The right-wing libertarians of today have the same lefty “if it feels good do it” philosophy that the hippies did in the 1960s. Where is Russell Kirk when you need him?

  • Rabiner


    “I have a problem with CFL’s. I am not against clean energy where it is proven effective, so save your pompous sarcasm.”

    So whats your problem with CFL’s since they are proven effective? Seems strange you’d contradict yourself in back to back sentences.

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