Rick Perry: Texas Law Protects Incandescent Bulb Makers/Users

Texas Governor Rick Perry has signed a law to allow incandescent light bulb makers in the state of Texas (if the bulbs are also sold there) to thumb their noses at the new Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) laws. In January 2012, the sale of our old friend, the 100 watt incandescent bulb (the modern day Thomas Edison bulb) will be outlawed. A year later, the 75 watt incandescent will be gone, and in 2014 the 60 watt bulb will die.

Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

When we were building our home three years ago, my lighting store vetoed several of my choices, since those fixtures would only take incandescent bulbs, which would eventually make them impossible to use. So lighting fixtures for incandescent bulbs are probably already dinosaurs. It seems impossible that chandeliers from sea to shining sea may soon be obsolete. I’m not saying they will be…just passing on info from my lighting store, which may have not told the truth. Who knows.

Now this is interesting: PhysOrg is reporting the story and includes a quote from someone connected to The Natural Resources Defense Council in New York. Whomever is commenting calls on Perry to veto the bill, and indicates that the legislation is useless, because it “can’t practically be implemented….” Which means that homes will not be able to use the old bulbs? Perhaps for the reasons I mentioned in the above paragraph?

“But what it really shows off is how some politicians in the Lone Star State will do anything to score political points – even if it means echoing misinformation and wasting time and money passing legislation that can’t practically be implemented and isn’t in the best interest of constituents.”

In Governor Perry’s 2010 book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” he says there is “no end to the reach of Washington,” and says they are even telling us what light bulbs to use. PolitiFact takes issue with that statement and rates it “Barely True” on it’s Truth-O-Meter. Read their assessment here. PolitiFact is saying bulbs MUST become more efficient, so the fact that our older bulbs are outlawed, doesn’t mean Washington is telling us what to buy. What? Of course they are telling us what to buy, because some of our personal choices have disappeared due to legislation.

In my house, hubby purchases the Soft White 52 watt incandescent bulb. It has worked well for us, replacing the 60 watt. The box says the 52 watt has 710 lumens, compared to 840 lumens in the 60 watt.  The thing is, we can’t tell the difference between it and the 60 watt incandescent. The light given by the 52 watt incandescent is much better than the light we got from the 60 watt CFL. We gave the CFL’s a chance, and found them greatly lacking – and one burned out with a few months.

However, maybe I was biased. Popular Mechanics says they tested seven “popular” compact fluorescent bulbs. They found the light quality in all of them “topped that emitted by traditional incandescent bulbs.” So, there’s that.

Also from Popular Mechanics:

How much of a difference can CFLs really make?
According to EnergyStar—a program run by the Environmental Protection Agency—if each U.S. home replaced just one of its incandescent bulbs with a CFL, the electricity saved each year could light 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of 800,000 cars. And with a recent study for the U.S. government saying that a single 24-watt CFL’s lifetime energy savings add up to the gas equivalent of a coast-to-coast Prius road trip, it’s probably time to get moving on your energy footprint.

Note the above uses the word “could.”  “Could light 3 million homes.” Note also that we were told 30 coal-fired power plants would shut-down, be eliminated, due to the savings from CFL usage. Not a single plant has closed down due to CFLs, but some are closing due to the huge cost of EPA regulations. CFLs shutting down coal-fired plants – not going to happen.

I have yet to have anyone confirm their much lowered energy costs, due to their CFLs. How about you? Do you know anyone who has actually found they saved? Thanks to The Lonely Conservative for the tip.

  • There is an initial ban on the manufacture or import of 100 watt bulbs followed by the elimination of all general service incandescents that are 40 watts or greater by January 2014…..While the effect of the legislation is to outlaw incandescents in reality what it actually eliminates is inefficient bulbs. An incandescent that burns at least 1000 hours gives out the same light as todays 100-watt bulb but only burns 72 watts can still be sold. While that bulb doesnt exist at the moment there are other options…..A good one is the compact fluorescent CFL which is well within the guidelines.

    • peterdub

      RE “An incandescent that burns at least 1000 hours gives out the same light as todays 100-watt bulb but only burns 72 watts
      can still be sold”

      Not quite true:
      All known incandescents will be banned before 2020, according to the Act – including Halogen or “New” incandescents that polticians keep waving around 28% reduction starting 2012 moves to 67% reduction before 2020
      Manufacturers unlikely for profit-reasons to pursue incandescents that far, given poor sales of Halogens as giving marginal savings for much higher price.
      Note also in Europe, the promises of new better incandescents soon evaporated, Philips did not market a new Halogen range as announced pre-ban, and in general stores only CFLs available and strongly pushed as “saving money despite higher price” etc
      More on the issue, links to actual regulations etc: http://freedomlightbulb.blogspot.com/2011/07/yes-it-is-ban.html

  • This one is close to my heart. Not only am I angry that this government can dictate what I choose to light my house with, it also will make it almost impossible for me to work. Let me explain.
    I use a clay that is wax based to work with. It needs to be heated to soften it so that I can sculpt with it. I use hundred watt bulbs for that purpose. Anything less the clay stays hard, especially in the winters here, when the cold causes the clay to stiffen. It never hardens, but it does become very hard to work with.
    Now I’ve been stocking up on the 100 watt bulbs for the past couple of months. It’s hard in this economy to find the extra cash to do this with, since sales of my artwork is almost non-existent, due to the recovering economy. So myself and many other sculptors would find life even more difficult, if these bulbs are no longer available.
    Government… just get out of our way…

    • David, I’m been trying to get an answer out of Congress – why is this being held up. My Rep. is on the subcommittee. I’ve called, tweeted and left a msg on FB for him, asking for info, why H.R. 91 is being held up. I put on his FB page that constituents believe repeal is no longer a Republican goal. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

  • send him my comment.. Thanks for all you do Maggie

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  • peterdub

    What ban proponents keep calling “Old Obsolescen­t” incandesce­nt technology is also cheap safe and known lighting technology­,
    compared with new complex and questionab­ly safe lighting (CFLs with
    fire, mercury and radiation risks, LEDS with lead and arsenic risks,
    http://ceo­las.net/#l­i18eax onwards).
    Yes, we should welcome the new: it does not mean having to get rid of
    the old….

    Light bulbs don’t burn coal, and they don’t give out CO2 gas: there
    are many more relevant ways of dealing with electricit­y generation­,
    distributi­on and consumptio­n, and – you are right – less than 1% of US energy is saved by the lighting standards anyway, according to US Dept of Energy and other official statistics (http://ceo­las.net/#l­i171x )

  • peterdub

    Actually (see my last comment),
    EVEN if the energy savings were there, you are still hardly saving money!
    That’s not just about having to pay more for light bulbs to profit-seeking major manufacturers (remember – why do they welcome a ban on what they care allowed to make?),
    but also because electricity companies are being subsidised or allowed to raise rates to compensate for any (supposed) reduced electricity use, as already seen both federally and in California, Ohio etc (http://ceolas.net/#li12ax )
    As you might have guessed, the more I have seen of this ban, the more senseless it becomes – and that is also from the “Let’s save energy and CO2 emissions” perspective of the proponents…

  • Peterdub.. your so right on. In California, they asked water users to cut back because of the shortage of water in the state.. When the people did, and usage was down, they started to charge much more for water, and tax it more to cover what the state was losing in revenue. Government is like a cancer… We need to reign in Government in more ways than one.