At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) asked the crowd, “What is happening to our liberty?,” before launching into a long-winded story about how he took back his freedom by replacing the energy-efficient “curlicue bulbs” at the Capitol with “good Edison light bulbs.” At some point during his anecdote, King even went so far as to compare the Capitol Hill janitors who replaced his incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient ones to “East German communist secret police, describing them as “Nancy [Pelosi]‘s Stasi troops.”
So I got this green bag right here. And I filled it up with the black market light bulbs. And I brought them back to my office here in the Capitol. Whenever I need to put a bulb in the lamp, I reach in this green bag and I screw it in there and smile. A little bit of my liberty back. A little bit of our freedom back. And I want to challenge you to do the same thing. Bring back some of that liberty, some of that freedom.
Following his attack on energy-efficient light bulbs, Rep. King took on the water-saving showerhead in his shower, before bringing his tirade to a close with the declaration, “I want my liberty back!”
The new light bulb efficiency standards have faced strong opposition from members of the GOP, who consider the rules not only a ban on light bulbs, but as another example of unneccessary federal regulation. Environmentalists and energy-efficiency business groups disagree and are quick to point out that the standards do not ban incandescent light bulbs, but requires them to be more efficient. Despite the GOP’s best efforts to pass measures that would block funding for the standards’ enforcement, The Energy Department rules went into effect at the beginning of the year.