In January Republicans reintroduced legislation to repeal a Democrat law to ban the Thomas Edison lightbulb in it’s modern form, otherwise known as the incandescent light bulb. Today, six months later, an American Thinker article and a BigGovernment article believe the Republican goal and promise of repeal has been hijacked.
The American Thinker article says Republicans are “flinching” on passing H.R. 91: The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act. When I look at the progress of the bill, I see that there are 70 sponsors/co-sponsors – with one Democrat among them, Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA). I see that H.R. 91 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and on to their Subcommittee on Energy and Power. That action happened on February 1, 2011. Nothing since.
BigGovernment’s Kurt Schlichter believes the holdup is the appointment of Rep. Fred Upton as the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton was hotly opposed by House members for this powerful position because of his moderate politics, but Boehner bestowed the important honor on him, anyway.
The American Thinker piece by Geoffrey P. Hunt speculates Republicans who voted for the ban under H.R. 6 in 2007, may now feel they should not show their earlier stupidity by taking the opposite stance now.
Three of those Republicans who voted to kill the incandescent bulb in 2007, are today sponsoring the repeal bill: Shelley Capito, Chris Smith and Joe Walsh.
House Republicans who voted FOR the 2007 H.R. 6 (110th): Energy Independence and Security Act are (those in bold did not return in January 2011):
Aderholt, Bartlett, Brown-Waite, Buchanan, Capito, Castle, Dent, Ehlers, Emerson, Everett, Ferguson, Fortenberry, Gerlach, Gilchrest, Hayes, Inglis, Johnson (Timothy), Jones (Walter), Kirk, Knollenberg, Kuhl, LaHood, LoBiondo, McHugh, Miller (Candice), Petri, Platts, Ramstad, Reichert, Rogers (Michael – Alabama), Ros-Lehtinen, Saxton, Shays, Smith (Christopher), Walsh, Wolf.
Republicans not voting: Calvert, Norwood, Buyer, Burton, McHenry, Lucas, Johnson (Samuel).
I find no Republicans who voted ‘YEA’ for the 2007 Democrat bill, sitting on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The BigGovernment article mentions that Upton, along with Democrat Rep. Jane Harmon initiated the ban on incandescents, but that legislation was a separate bill and did not become law (but portions were likely included in the final law). In the end, Upton voted against H.R. 6. When Upton was lobbying for chair of Energy and Commerce, he was against the ban, so while he was for it, before he was against it, in the end, as far back as summer 2007, he did not support the ban with his vote.
If the Republican Party can’t make a stand at the government telling us what kind of light bulbs to use, what good is it?
Will the Republicans deliver the simplest legislative win on the path to stopping government interference in our daily lives — a task as easy as naming a post office? If not, there is no hope for repealing ObamaCare, reforming entitlements, reversing the EPA, enacting a balanced budget, or restoring the principles of limited government to this nation.
Both Schlichter and Hunt are right. If we can’t return the liberty to choose the bulbs for our living room lamps, especially after the evidence of the undesirable consequences of CFL’s, then the so-called Conservative presence in Congress is a joke. A broken CFL requires a visit from HazMat or a manual to teach you how to clean it up, and the mercury-laden CFL costs twice as much as our incandescents (made in Cleveland, Ohio) and is made in China.
From Hunt, an important reminder of the hi-jinxs under which the CFL bill was passed:
We have also learned that coal fired power plants, the leading villain in the light bulb ban morality play, haven’t been affected one whit by energy conservation mandates for households. In fact not a single coal fired power plant has been taken off-line as a result of the steady conversion from household incandescents to CFLs in the past 5 years, and none ever will be.
Those hyper-partisans from the likes of the Natural Resources Defense Council predicting that 30 coal fired plants would be eliminated due to the light bulb ban have never been challenged to name one. Name one, just one. Coal fired plants may get the axe from draconian EPA regs, but not from household light bulbs.
I talked by phone to someone on the House Energy and Power Committee today who said they have a heavy load right now, but it is not unusual for a bill introduced in January to still be in the beginning stages of hearings after six months. My Congressman, John Sullivan, is on the Energy and Power Sub-committee, so I have left an inquiry for him. Check here to see if your representative is on either the Committee or the sub-committee and give them a call. Find your Congressman’s contact info here.
Both American Thinker and BigGovernment are obviously concerned that Republicans have stepped away from their support of repeal. I can’t determine exactly why that is, other than the length of time to pass Committee, or a general mistrust of Upton, but there is no doubt that time is running out. We lose our 100 watt incandescents in January 2012, less than 6 months away. 75 watt bulbs are gone in January 2013 and 60 watts finito in 2013.
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