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Effort to Repeal Light Bulb Ban Burns Out

Bill failed to win two-thirds vote required to suspend the rules and pass the bill.

which essentially call for incandescent bulbs to be phased out in 2012 and replaced with more energy efficient bulbs, has failed.

The House voted July 12 on H.R. 2417, or the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act. Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA-07), whose district includes Dacula, voted in favor of the bill.

If passed, H.R. 2417 would have specifically prohibited the government from mandating the use of any bulb containing mercury:

"No Federal, State, or local requirement or standard regarding energy efficient lighting shall be effective to the extent that the requirement or standard can be satisfied only by installing or using lamps containing mercury."

The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act was introduced by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX-06). In a statement on his website, Rep. Barton said lawmakers failed to consider the ramifications of the 2007 Energy Act.

“The unanticipated consequence of the ’07 act – Washington-mandated layoffs in the middle of a desperate recession – is one of many examples of what happens when politicians and activists think they know better than consumers and workers,” Barton said. “From the health insurance you’re allowed to have, to the car you can drive, to the light bulbs you can buy, Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to people who work for their own paychecks and earn their own living.”

Yesterday’s vote needed a two-thirds majority to pass due to the fact the vote was held under a suspension of the rules to shorten the debate. The final vote count was 233 in favor, 193 opposed and five present/not voting. The bill is now dead.

A survey on Popvox showed 68 percent of respondents were in favor of the failed legislation.

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