House Set to Vote Today on Light Bulb Ban

House resolution would repeal the de facto ban on the incandescent light bulb.

Incandescent light bulbs may not be a thing of the past after all.

The House is scheduled to vote today on H.R. 2417 or the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, a bill to repeal sections of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which essentially call for incandescent bulbs to be phased out in 2012 and replaced with more energy efficient bulbs. Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA-07), whose district includes Dacula, intends to vote in favor of H.R. 2417 according to his communications director Jennifer Drogus.

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.”

Also in the posted statement, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX-26) said the 2007 Energy Act has resulted in thousands of American jobs being shipped overseas.

“Further, I have stated all along that exposing our citizens to the harmful effects of the mercury contained in CFL light bulbs, which are being manufactured in China, is likely to pose a hazard for years to come. This light bulb issue is just the latest example of Republicans attempting to correct the mistakes of Nancy Pelosi’s misguided Democrat-controlled Congress,” Burgess said.

According to lamprecycle.org, energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs – or CFLs – contain less than 4 milligrams of mercury, an amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pin.

Though the amount of mercury may be relatively small, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued guidelines for the safe handling and disposal of broken CFLs which include airing out rooms where a bulb has been broken, shutting off any central heating and air units and clearing the room of people and pets while the debris is cleared.

If passed, H.R. 2417 would specifically prohibit 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."

Do you support the Better Use of Light Bulbs Acts? You can share your opinion on PopVox by clicking here.

Current results show 69 percent of respondents support the bill.


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