As If Further Proof Were Needed
When Jefferson, Franklin, Monroe and Madison and the other Founding Fathers sat down to write the Constitution of the United States, one of the things that concerned them the most was that at some time in the future the Congress would spend a huge amount of time involved in trying to guarantee Americans in the future the right to buy a light bulb.
Anticipating the invention of the incandescent light bulb, that would take place about 100 years later, the Framers made specific mention in the Constitution that Congress could never take away from Americans the right to choose, that is, the right to choose the light bulb technology of their choice. Removal of this freedom, they felt, was just the first step on replacing the American form of government with a Soviet style dictatorship.
Ok, this really didn’t happen (no it didn’t, you can look it up) but Conservative members of the Congress apparently believe it should have happened, and that they are the last defense against the removal of an Americans right to waste energy. So in the midst of the debate over taxes and government spending, they fought long and hard to get a provision in the funding bill that would prevent the government from enforcing Bush administration laws mandating more energy efficient light bulbs.
The Senate and House passed a massive spending bill, which President Obama is expected to sign this week, that includes a measure barring the Department of Energy from enforcing more efficient light bulb rules. Those rules, requiring bulbs use at least 25% less energy, do not ban all incandescents but phase out Edison's bulbs in favor of the more efficient halogen incandescent, the CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) or LED (light emitting diode.)
And who do all Americans have to thank for this preservation of a basic, right, why of course, it’s a bulbous, bombastic, boastful buffoon
The light bulb rules were approved with bi-partisan support and signed by President George Bush in 2007. Yet this year, House Republicans and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh have attacked them as a ban on all incandescents and an infringement on individual rights.
And at least one Conservative praised the action in terms of the coming holiday
"This is an early Christmas present for all Americans. It restores the freedom, at least temporarily, for you to choose thelight bulbs you want to illuminate your home," Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said in a statement after the House voted Friday.
The Congressman went on to add that because the Bible reports that among the gifts the magi brought to the baby Jesus was a 100 watt GE light bulb, banning such items was not only an attack on freedom, but also an attack on religion (ok, he didn’t say it, but we all know he thought it).
Opposing the Conservative initiative was the godless, atheistic lighting industry.
The lighting industry has opposed GOP attacks on the lighting standards, which begin phasing out
Edison's 100-watt incandescent Jan. 1 nationwide. The 75-watt version follows Jan. 2013 and the 60-watt and 40-watt ones, Jan. 2014. began the phaseout a year early, in Jan. 2011. California
"American manufacturers have invested millions of dollars in transitioning to energy efficient lighting," says Joseph Higbee, spokesman of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, an industry group. "Delay in enforcement undermines those investments and creates regulatory uncertainty."
And even worse, many Americans, in fact a majority, are going ahead with changing out light bulbs the Conservatives want to preserve in order to have more efficient lighting, thus voluntarily given up their precious rights.
Stephen Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, says most Americans favor thelight bulb standards. He cites a USA TODAY/Gallup poll, taken in February, that found 61% regarded them favorably. Of those surveyed, 71%, said they have replaced standard light bulbs in their home with more efficient options, and 84% said they are "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with the alternatives.
Can anything be done to stop that? Conservatives are reported to be considering legislation requiring Americans to use energy wasting light bulbs, “It’s what this country was built on” said an unnamed spokesperson.