Republicans Set To Repeal Light Bulb Efficiency Standard That Would Save Consumers $12 Billion A Year

Leading manufacturer: “The reality is, consumers will see no difference at all. The only difference they’ll see is lower energy bills because we’re creating more efficient incandescent bulbs.”

In a move that could be called anything but conservative, Republican lawmakers are set to bring a bill to the House floor next week that will repeal state and municipal rights to set efficiency standards for light bulbs. The bill would unravel a piece of federal legislation that was strongly supported by light bulb manufacturers and has spurred innovation in the lighting industry.

The bill, sponsored by Texas Republican Joe Barton, would strip away any “federal, state or local requirement or standard regarding energy efficient lighting” that uses light bulbs containing mercury. In other words, all compact fluorescent bulbs.

Remember, in May, Barton, denied there was any “medical negative” from mercury emitted from coal power plants. Now he fancies himself a protector of the public from a vastly smaller source of potential mercury poisoning. The reality: There is an extremely small amount of mercury in CFL bulbs. Even after more than 8 hours of exposure to a broken bulb, mercury levels are equal to eating a 6 oz can of tuna.

But that’s not what this is really about.

Barton’s bill targets the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which increases the efficiency of incandescent light bulbs by 27% through 2014. It was a completely non-controversial bill that had bi-partisan support, was strongly supported by light bulb manufacturers (and still is) and was signed into law by George W. Bush.


“When this bill was passed, it was passed by people who knew how to make light bulbs,” says Randall Moorhead, vice president of government affairs at Philips, a leading light bulb producer. “Everyone supported it. And since then, it’s created more choice for consumers — we have two incandescent bulbs on the market that weren’t there before.”

But in an effort to score political points in the 2012 election cycle, Republican lawmakers have made patently false statements about the law — calling it a ban on incandescent light bulbs. Michigan Republican Fred Upton, who supported the law in 2007, is now back peddling and claiming that the efficiency standard is an example of “federal overreach.”

Upton, who has been serving in Congress since the mid-80’s, surely understands that minimum efficiency and safety standards for lighting and appliances have been a part of the industry for decades — no one would make the preposterous claim that the government has come in and made them change their microwave, refrigerator or dishwasher.

“We support the notion that efficiency is a desirable thing, and this type of standard has been a part of our body politic for a long time,” says Moorhead of Philips. “The reality is, consumers will see no difference at all. The only difference they’ll see is lower energy bills because we’re creating more efficient incandescent bulbs.”

Moorhead explains the business case for the efficiency standard to Climate Progress:

The 2007 law set minimum efficiency level. That’s it. Everyone in the industry knew that it was set at a point that we could still make incandescent light bulbs. The industry never would have supported a law that would have banned a technology or prevented us from making a light with a certain kind of ambiance.

The reality is, the new incandescent lights were not being made because there was not an economic incentive to make them. And now Philips [and other manufacturers] makes two types that were not made before EISA. Today, under the efficiency standard, consumers have more choices, not less. They still can choose from more types of incandescent light bulbs that will be more efficient.

It’s not just Philips making these bulbs. GE and Sylvania are also producing new, energy-efficient incandescents using the same technology. And by 2014, consumers will not be forced to buy more expensive LEDs or moderately priced CFLs — they’ll be able to buy incandescent bulbs that today cost $1.42 and use 27% less energy.


If just a third of the 4.4 billion medium screw-based light sockets around the country were replaced with new, efficient incandescent light bulbs, one third with compact fluorescents and one third with LED bulbs, the annual savings could be more than $12 billion a year, says Moorhead.

“The economics work out extremely well for the consumer,” he explains.

The American Council on an Energy Efficient Economy says that the standards would eliminate the need to develop 30 new power plants — or about the electrical demand of Pennsylvania and Tennessee combined.

The 2007 efficiency standards weren’t just about saving energy — they were also about providing manufacturers a consistent marketplace. With numerous states passing minimum standards for lighting, companies were looking at the prospects of having to produce different bulbs for different states. When the law was passed in 2007, it created a national market place that was deemed good for business, says Jeffrey Harris, the senior vice president for programs at the Alliance to Save Energy.

“Repealing this standard would undercut manufacturers’ confidence. This has been all about creating market certainty that would encourage more innovation — and it’s worked. Why would we want to take that away?”

The bill is expected to come to the floor early next week. There’s some speculation that the bill will be introduced under “suspension of the rules,” which would limit debate and not allow any amendments — but also require a two-thirds vote to pass.


Numerous consumer advocacy groups, businesses and environmental groups are pushing hard to educate lawmakers about the immense benefits of the standards. But in today’s politically charged environment, common sense isn’t exactly a virtue.

“It’s a nice bumper sticker statement to claim that the government is going to come in and take your light bulbs away. Unfortunately, my 5-page white paper that explains the effectiveness of the law has a hard time competing with that,” says Moorhead.

UPDATE: A new analysis from NRDC shows that repealing the standard would ultimately cost the country more than $12.5 billion annually. The light-bulb standard will reduce Americans’ energy costs by about $85 per household every year when the standards are fully in place. More efficient light bulbs also will eliminate the need for 33 large power plants — and the pollution they generate.

Below are earlier comments from the Facebook commenting system:

Mike Roddy

These guys are amazing. What’s next? Resisting air conditioner efficiency standards?

July 8 at 9:47am


They want to live like Ozzie and Harriet?

July 8 at 12:20pm


Lying could realistically kill the biosphere. Barton’s lying, he knows he is lying, and everyone in the population except a heavily propagandized “conservative” subset know he is lying.

How can we take realistic action to solve real world problems when our leaders are such liars?

July 8 at 10:11amSherri Jones

It’s becoming a very big up hill battle…Fox news started pushing this lie last year…appalling

July 8 at 12:49pm


When they weren’t hacking into the cell phones of dead soldiers and their families.

July 8 at 2:51pm

Jim Nuzum

Surprised? We’re talking about the guy who apologized to BP because the gov’t had the gall to ask them to clean up their own freakin’ mess. All I hear whenever I see his stupid face is “Ah apolojazz…”

July 8 at 3:08pm

Raymond P Beale

I’d like an amendmant to alter the 1st amendmant. Lies by corporations, politicians and media that are proven to be lies are treated as felonies.

July 9 at 12:10pm

Marc Jensen

They are in the pocket of the Koch brothers and Exxon and working hard to destroy the USA.

July 8 at 10:14amCharles Sheen

Koch brothers want to destroy the USA as we know it so we can return to the days of robber barons. Exxon, on the other hand, is only serving the interests of the shareholders. The big difference between the Koch brothers and Exxonmobil is Koch Industries and its subsidiaries are all privately held, with zero transparency. Exxon, on the other hand, is publicly held. Shareholders can and have been scrutinizing the companies’ actions at shareholder meetings. Exxon shareholders are common people like me and millions of Americans. They may own Exxon stocks directly or indirectly through mutual funds. We want America to prosper because only so can Exxon make money for us.

July 8 at 6:23pm


“A new study indicates that when a compact fluorescent bulb is broken, mercury is released in a vapor. And the bulb will continue to release vapor for more than 10 weeks.”


July 8 at 10:29amBrad Rubin

Yet this bill has nothing to do with that — buy LED’s or introduce a bill that deals with CFL’s. And as the article mentions, there’s no more mercury in a CFL than a can of tuna millions of people eat every day. And the less you have to change a bulb, the less likely it is to “break.” (I’ve never broken one)

July 8 at 12:13pm


But it will be in use for ten years without being broken…unless a Republican was installing them? Why don’t we all just go back to living in caves without any light or warmth. Then we would then be safe not sorry?

July 8 at 12:14pm

Brad Rubin

Not sure I understand your reply, I’’m not defending the proposal.

8 at 12:18pm


I thought you were. It’s hard to tell these days with the way posts pop up in random order. Sorry.

July 8 at 12:25pm

Richard E Olmstead

However, if you read the source documentation, only certain brands of CFLs release significant amounts of mercury in vapor form (why not regulate these limits instead?). And the supposed risk would occur if you kept your child (amounts to small to affect adults) in an unventilated 7x7x7 room for days (or weeks) without cleaning up the broken bulb. If that’s the type of parent you are, your kid has bigger issues.

July 8 at 12:34pm

Jim Nuzum

In case you missed that part in the article, burning coal to produce electricity is a far vaster source of mercury than 100 CFLs. And that’s in the air we breathe.

July 8 at 3:15pm


@richard olmstead: it’s still politically useful.

July 10 at 12:11am

Bob Carver

That’s simply not true. A CFL contains 35mg of mercury, while a can of tuna contains over 10,000 times LESS mercury according to the NRDC. Get your facts straight.

July 11 at 4:02pm

Pete Welch


July 8 at 11:10amPatrick Linsley

‘Republican lawmakers are set to bring a bill to the House floor next week that will repeal state and municipal rights to set efficiency standards for light bulbs.’Brought to you by the party for ‘states rights’ and against ‘big government’. Or is that only when it comes to discriminating against black people?

July 8 at 11:42amJim Nuzum

They’re only against big gov’t when it sounds good to say that. They are all about big gov’t when it comes to the individual rights of actual people, esp. if sex is involved somehow.

July 8 at 3:18pm

Sue Gannaway

“repealing the standard would ultimately cost the country more than $12.5 billion annually. “ Typical Republican move. Throw out the baby with the bathwater.

July 8 at 11:55amSimon Tolstopyatenko

we should ban lobbying and put those who do it in jail for life.

July 8 at 11:57am


It used to be called bribery. St. Reagan and Spunky deregulated that, too.

July 8 at 12:11pm

Siobhán Murphy

Obama said he would do something (make it illegal) about lobbyists…I have been waiting and waiting for that one…what’s he waiting for???

July 8 at 3:34pm

Curtis Mackie

He doesn’t have much he can do anymore, now that SCOTUS has decided lobbying is protected free speech. Barring a constitutional amendment, it’s not going to happen for quite a while now.

July 8 at 3:58pm

Jeff Scott

What’s to say? They go from obnoxious to lunacy in one breath.

July 8 at 12:00pmAndrew Curran

That’s why I work for Bastion Technologies. http:\​ LED’s are the future. When are Republicans going to get it together. They have this “You can take my incandescent from my cold dead hands” Attitude. it’s really not helping anyone!

July 8 at 12:04pmShannon Eldridge Dalton

They’re still getting used to that internet thingy and the Tweeter.

July 8 at 12:14pm

Luke Marrott

Working with Stephen?

July 8 at 12:15pm

Andrew Curran


July 8 at 12:17pm


Republicans would rather that other countries produce these bulbs when they know full well that its a product that the rest of the world is going to buy instead of the old ones in the future. They are going to let others reap the profits because…why?

The Defaulters can’t fathom a world without black and white TV?

July 8 at 12:19pm

Luke Marrott

I liked him.

July 8 at 12:22pm

Aaron Lee Maughan Jr

LEDs are sweet

July 8 at 1:00pm

Jim Nuzum

Some of them are probably sad that candles & kerosene (or even whale oil!) lamps are gone…

July 8 at 3:22pm

Tim Xzentradi

Go with LED. The compact ones contain mercury and if one ever breaks you have to decontaminate your house.

July 8 at 4:17pm

Gus Lamar Hall

Make the bulb cost effiecient and it would be more appealing.

July 10 at 1:03pm

crazy tempura

@sandy: It makes domestic workers more desperate, and gives them leverage to eliminate progressive labor protections like the weekend and minimum wage.

MBA-led businesses have wanted to slash labor costs for decades, and they naively think that sweatshop labor is the way to do it.

July 11 at 3:32pm

Sanjiv Sarwate

Is anyone surprised? The “squiggly bulbs” have become almost as huge an object of obsession as the long-form birth certificate.

July 8 at 12:07pm


There hasn’t been any lights going off inside the heads of these Defaulters for a long time now.

July 8 at 12:09pmMara Prato

“The economics work out extremely well for the consumer,” he explains.

Why are they doing this, you ask? There’s your reason right there.

July 8 at 12:10pmDana Nuccitelli

The Republican Party is so infuriating. I swear they’re out to do as much damage to our country as they can.

July 8 at 12:10pmGary David Knerr

Democrats are on the same bent… they just do it under the guise of “helping” the dim-witted consumer.

July 8 at 12:21pm


You need to take your meds.

July 8 at 12:23pm

Gary David Knerr

Yeah, that contributes to the debate…

July 8 at 12:26pm

SoundMusic, Inc.

well, your lies don’t, Gary.

July 9 at 11:43am


Opinions you dislike are “lies.” Great way to convince someone: accuse them of “lying.”

July 9 at 7:18pm

Gary David Knerr

No lies… fact.

July 10 at 10:34am

Gary David Knerr

Fact: I didn’t say anyone was lying. I merely point out that Democrats are still politicians and can be as incredibly self serving as a lot of Repubs. Now please if you want to debate that please do, but trying to vilify me does not move anything forward. Prove me wrong. And to help you along I am not Republican but I do believe in a smaller, much smaller government = conservative.

July 10 at 10:37am

Joe Barton…the dimmest bulb in Congress?

July 8 at 12:13pm


Oh, I wouldn’t say that. Cantor and his Credit Default has to take the cake for lunacy.

July 8 at 12:21pm

Conservatives…the lights are on but nobody’s home.

July 8 at 12:23pm

Pilotshark Out of the western blue sky


well they are home alright just hiding in closets and basements.

July 8 at 12:52pm

Siobhán Murphy

“…will eliminate the need for 33 large power plants — and the pollution they generate”.

And that’s the real reason — lobbyists are a go! pockets lined, check! two steps backward, check! progress thwarted, check! and the rich get richer…

July 8 at 12:20pmRob Pender

@Chris E. You’re telling think progress that THEY are short-sighted and shouldn’t be banging a one party drum? The GOP can’t seem to look past their own pocketbooks or the 2012 elections. The author isn’t being biased against them…he’s just stating facts.

July 8 at 12:23pmGina Martini

“The bill, sponsored by Texas Republican Joe Barton, would strip away any ‘federal, *state* or local requirement or standard regarding energy efficient lighting’ that uses light bulbs containing mercury”.

What utter hypocrisy! I thought this inbred hick was a Tenther. I thought he was all about state rights. So, if California chooses to enact laws that require energy efficient light bulbs, this clown’s “bill” will prevent us from doing so? Ugh!

July 8 at 12:23pmSanjiv Sarwate

They’re only for state’s rights for the states that do things they like. Which is why they demand a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage equality.

July 8 at 12:49pm

Deborah J Sallee Stone

My thoughts too…I see this as just one step in the process of trying to take away Californias ability that we have to set higher pollution fighting standards than the rest of the country…

July 8 at 4:31pm

Sanjiv Sarwate

But Texas’ right to make textbooks stupider for everyone else is unquestioned.

July 9 at 10:03am

Juan Maya

WHAT! Why the hell would they do that?

July 8 at 12:27pmEfrain Flores

Most of them own some of the companies that r providing the current bulbs or have a lot of sharers in the market and will end up losing lots of $$$$$$$

July 8 at 1:10pm

Efrain Flores

And don’t doubt those new bulbs r patented

July 8 at 1:12pm

Valeria Flores

iiiIt’s poison!!! LOL 🙂

July 8 at 11:16pm

Carrie Cummings Mcguire

could these guys try doing something useful for a change? more distractions while they try to tank the economy so they have a better shot at getting elected.

July 8 at 12:27pmWally O’Brien

Okay, I’m about as green as they get. At the same time, I’m having a BIG problem with CFLs. Part of their energy savings is supposedly due to the fact that they last longer. Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but all of the ones that I’ve installed have either lasted the same, but most have a life much less.

I keep waiting for LEDs to work out. I hear they are close.

July 8 at 12:30pm

Mike twotwo

I’ve never had any problems, home or elsewhere. Could be the brand. Most CFLs aren’t rated for recessed use. They get too hot and fry the electronics. Happened to my brother-he relamped all his ceiling fans, and all the bulbs croaked. Upside down in a small fixture. If you’re losing bulbs, try one that labelled for recessed fixtures.

July 8 at 2:48pm

David Copeland

I’ve had one bad CFL, an off brand, that burned out prematurely. All the others have been great. Perhaps your power is ‘dirty’ (wiki power quality). Some CFLs also have issues with some timers and motion sensors.

July 9 at 9:45am

Bob Carver

Wally, I have the same experience you had. The CFLs don’t last any longer than incandescents. CFLs are a very bad idea because of their toxic mercury content, most of which will end up in landfills very quickly and leach into the water supply.

July 11 at 4:06pm

David Copeland

Bob more mercury is released by the inefficient energy use of an incandescent bulb than what is in a CFL. Even if you consider that only 1/2 the power is coal fired there is still more mercury released and it is spewed out the smokestack emissions rather than being buried if not recycled. This mercury falls everywhere and works its way into our food-chain. I do not know how mercury will behave underground but I doubt that it is highly motive.

July 11 at 10:13pm

Stephen M. Huffman

Typical GOP move to cater to big business at the cost of the taxpayer.

July 8 at 12:38pm

Patriotic Liberal-Joshuan

The light bulb is used as a symbol for an idea. No wonder the GOP is opposed to improving light bulbs.

July 8 at 12:44pmJoan Savage

The version I found of the Barton bill (no guarantee if the version is most current) was a flat repeal of Section B of Title III of the 2007 law, equivalent to repeal of Public Law 110–140 [Sec. 321]. Sec. 321 has nearly 14 pages on many aspects of light bulb efficiency, including a schedule for meeting progressive efficiency standards. On a first run through, I didn’t see a repeal of any states’ rights in it, but I’m not a lawyer. Repeal of Sec. 321 would lose other valuable features.

July 8 at 12:44pmJoan Savage

The version of the Barton bill linked in The Hill article through the word “legislation” contains what are the possibly unconstitutional sections on state and local regulations.​2-wire/677-e2-wire/170139-​house-to-vote-on-repealing​-light-bulb-efficiency-sta​ndardsWeird to see Republicans be once again against states’ rights.

July 8 at 1:11pm

Sherri Jones

Why do Republicans hate Innovation so much?

July 8 at 12:47pmBill Marshall

Those bulbs suck.

July 8 at 6:21pm

Jody Biesche

Your opinion. I have CFLs all over my house, and am quite pleased with the light output as well as the energy savings.

July 9 at 6:06am

Bill Marshall

They are also filled with Mercury and need to be treated as hazardous waste.

July 9 at 11:50am

Jim Nuzum

Not a problem if you don’t break them. And proper recycling is widely available (Home Depot, Lowe’s, maybe Walmart). And that’s just CFLs. LEDs and improved incandescents do not have mercury, so if that’s your worry, there are your options.

July 9 at 11:55am

Bill Marshall

LED’s are the future. But not quite yet at around $40 a bulb. Recycling is great but not everyone takes the time to do it and Mercury ends up in the landfills.

July 9 at 12:27pm

Alex Clary

If you read the article, they are talking about energy efficient incandescents. CFLs are fluorescent bulbs.

July 9 at 2:53pm

Tayler Mayer

bill marshall, read the article.

“Even after more than 8 hours of exposure to a broken bulb, mercury levels are equal to eating a

6 oz can of tuna.”

July 11 at 9:01am

Jim Crelan

ah, republicans

July 8 at 12:47pmJim Crelan

it just gets stupider and stupider

July 8 at 5:54pm

Jackson Taylor

Hey, let’s repeal a completely non-controversial law and add $12.5b to the deficit just to score some political points!

July 8 at 12:50pmSarah Davis

Word. Riiiiiidiculous!

July 8 at 12:56pm

Brian Keegan

Dontchaknow, low flow toilets, seatbelt laws, and energy efficiency standards are common entreé strategies for totalitarian political regimes.

July 8 at 2:28pm

Jill Rust

please vote these idiots out — even if you think you are a Republican. You can do better.

July 8 at 12:56pmJen Idon’thaveone

…and this is what congress is wasting their time on… Wonderful. I H.A.T.E. the GOP.

July 8 at 12:58pmAnita Frullani

Repubs just can’t see the light….and they work very hard to make sure we don’t either.

July 8 at 1:07pmSorin N. Puşcau

probably cheap LED manufacturers are competitors of incandescent light bulbs and more expensive efficient LED and CFL…but not contributors to GOP campaigns:) oh..I don’t know..just a hunch:)

July 8 at 1:21pmJim Nuzum

What? Whatever are you trying to say? That some politicians would put the desires of their contributors over the needs of their constituents? That’s outrageous! I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to step outside!

July 8 at 3:44pm

Sorin N. Puşcau


July 8 at 3:50pm

Jerry Szostek


July 8 at 1:30pmDarin Seidel

Ugh — Dumb doesn’t even begin to describe this effort. While we’re at it, why don’t we just repeal minimum fuel efficiency standards, maximum lead and radiation exposure standards and all seat-belt and speed limit laws.

July 8 at 1:55pmJim Nuzum

Well, I’d fully support repealing mandatory seat belt use laws. At least as far as consenting adults go. I’m a big boy. I can make my own choices. Not that I’m saying wearing seat belts is a bad idea. The gov’t’s got no right to fine me for risking my own life.

July 8 at 3:47pm

Jennifer Avery

So we’ve got troops still overseas that don’t need to be, an education system that is failing to actually educate, millions of people unable to afford decent healthcare, a terrifying deficit, and a rapidly declining economy and these guys are wanting to add to the horror of all this by repealing something that actually works? Great. I love that we’re paying our politicians so much to screw us over even more and ignore the Country’s most pressing needs.

July 8 at 1:59pmKrishna Sisson

Don’t forget that we just ended the shuttle program, NPR and PBS have lost funding and its not getting better. Wanna start our own community on an island?

July 8 at 2:07pm

Jennifer Avery

Yep. When we make our fortune, we’ll go island shopping.

July 8 at 2:10pm

Krishna Sisson

Rock on sister.

July 8 at 3:10pm

Paul Gordon Avery

I said basically the same thing when they decided to tell us what kind of light bulb to use to start with! Don’t they have anything better to do than worry about what kind of light bulb I use? I think so!

July 8 at 9:21pm

Jennifer Avery

well, if it keeps the country from building 33 extra power plants and saves us 12 billion dollars a year, it’s perfectly fine with me.

July 8 at 10:32pm

Marco Deppe


July 8 at 2:14pmDonald Tinker

The only thing that surprises me is that they are not calling for coal oil lanterns to be implemented for USA energy security!

July 8 at 9:57pm

Marco Deppe

And we’d all have a canary to be sure the air is still good in the house :p

July 8 at 11:26pm

Tony Lancto

Seriously, it’s as if they’re retarded. Sorry, but I can’t think of any other way to put it…

July 8 at 2:46pmJames Dolan

I need to move to Antarctica…

July 8 at 3:21pm

Jim Nuzum

Too cold.

July 8 at 3:48pm

James Dolan

I figure I’ll stake a claim now and have beachfront property when the cap retreats. And I’ll open a fast food stand called Penguin-Fil-A.

July 8 at 4:41pm

Chris Leamon

The Republicans should force us all to go back to candles and torches, after all that is the time in which they live.

July 8 at 2:53pmmusicman495

I suggest we cut greenhouse gases by defeating the gasbag House Republicans.

July 8 at 2:56pmGerry Myers

even republicians should see this as a energy saving no brainer, oops, I forgot they are already brain dead.

July 8 at 3:54pmDeborah J Sallee Stone

“Republican lawmakers…’repeal state and municipal rights to set efficiency standards’ for light bulbs. The bill would unravel a piece of federal legislation that was strongly supported by light bulb manufacturers and has spurred innovation in the lighting industry.”…

I don’t get it…one day the GOP is all over the ‘states rights’ thing as good…Now they contridict themselves and want to take away the ‘right of a state’ to set a ‘standard’…What’s next? Oh, wait a minute, I get it… this a one step in the long process that attacks states such as California that sets it’s own limits on pollutions isn’t it?(we have higher standards here, and because of our size, the rest of the country then goes along with it)…I am thinking this is where it ultimately is headed…

July 8 at 4:28pmPaul Coppock

“There is an extremely small amount of mercury in CFL bulbs. Even after more than 8 hours of exposure, mercury levels are equal to eating a 6 oz can of tuna.”

You may leave the impression that this “exposure” takes place while the CFL bulb is operating. It’s got nothing to do with the light from a CFL bulb. It would occur only when it is broken and its contents are lying around on the floor.

July 8 at 4:32pmDan Dudley

Go LED and get rid of florescent and incandescent. They last 50,000 or more hours vs. 1200 hours and use 1/10th the power of incandescent bulbs. http://www.designrecyclein​​tml

July 8 at 5:02pmDavid Dudley

Not sure would bebefit from the 0bill incadcents are no longer mfg in the us

July 9 at 7:47am

Richard Brenne

If all Republicans like Barton could live on another planet and not ruin this one for everyone on it, then their “Up is down, black is white” lies and tactics could temporarily “work” for everyone who was also lying to each other 24/7/365. The difficult part is how to implement this plan.

July 8 at 5:02pmKaty Orr

I find it hilarious that people like Bachmann, that are all for states rights, supports legislature like this from the federal level — that forces states to comply. But her followers will never see her as a fraud. I don’t get it.

July 8 at 5:14pmCharles Sheen

How can you tell when Joe “Apologize to BP” Barton is lying? When he opens his mouth!

July 8 at 6:17pm

stoop.solo (signed in using Yahoo)

You have to admire the Republican’s stubborn determination to be such dicks. Remember Boehner’s big return to styrofoam cups? Styrofoam? What, is it the eighties again or something?

July 8 at 6:22pmJennifer DesRochers

Kill this repeal! Consumers should have access to energy-efficient products. Who are these people to come into my house and tell me I should not have CFL’s because they want to build more power plants?

July 8 at 10:08pmJerry Szostek

No, they just want more campaign contributions from the energy companies and coal companies…

July 8 at 11:16pm

Jo Verneuille

Yeah, what could us consumers do with $12 billion anyway?These people (the GOP) are freakingly, willfully ignorant and do not care one wit about America or its consumers. All hail the United Corporations of America — not “e pluribus unum” but “profit above all.”

July 8 at 10:37pmScott Kerber

Another “dim bulb” from Texas. Too many hydrocarbons in their diet.

July 8 at 11:02pmAmin Khad

Because these Republicans realize that it should be the individual’s own choice as to what to buy.

This idea that the federal government should micro-manage consumer decisions to create a better outcome is the typical hubris of socialist thinking.

July 9 at 2:44amJim Nuzum

Yes, what a terrible thing it is fr the gov’t to set standards that make the world a better place for ALL. Would you like to repeal the mileage standards for cars? Or emissions standards? What do you say we go back to using leaded gasoline? Ayn Rand was a hack & a fraud.

July 9 at 11:23am

SoundMusic, Inc.

you’re an idiot, amin.

July 9 at 11:48am

Amin Khad

That’s an immature comment that shows you don’t understand how to relate to others.

July 9 at 10:55pm

Amin Khad

Jim, it’s a terrible thing for the government to FORCE standards on people. Hey why not ban cigarettes and alcohol as well since you want to go around telling people how to live..

“Ayn Rand was a hack & a fraud.”

Not every thing in support of freedom has to go back to Ayn Rand.

Don’t you hate it when conservatives call every thing you do Marxist, and claim you want the US to be like the USSR? If you do, then don’t act the same way and claim every single supporter of limited government worships Ayn Rand or wants the complete disappearance of government like in Somalia.

July 9 at 10:57pm

Amin Khad

“What do you say we go back to using leaded gasoline? “

What do you say we don’t go to mercury filled light bulbs.

July 9 at 10:58pm

John McCormick

Amin, make sure you tighten your seat belt. Wouldn’t want to see you in a casket.

July 10 at 8:17am

Amin Khad

John, make sure you tighten your seat belt too, I would want to see you in a casket either 😉

July 10 at 7:55pm

Mike Buretta

and isn’t a big tenant of repub polotics “saving money”? this oughta be a no brainer for a conservative.

July 9 at 6:12amJeffrey A Frommeyer

Where are lightbulbs MANUFACTURED?

July 9 at 7:54amRaymond Kieran O’Prey

Always thinking of Mother Earth and the little guys first, these Reps…..a swell bunch!

July 9 at 11:19am

Jim Kemp

Reduce consumer cost, people still have a choice, reduce pollution, reduce demand on existing power plants and at the same time, eliminate the need for more…..AH, what’s the down side? Oh, I know. A group of Fat Cat greedy pukes won’t be able to profit from it so all of a sudden it’s a bad thing America. What it is is a bad thing for their wallets so they’ll do whatever it takes to squash it.

July 9 at 8:32amVincent R. Katter

Interesting. There does not seem to be a business interest (short or long term) in undercutting the new standards, so this is purely a ‘if they’re for it, I’m against it’ sort of political play.

July 9 at 12:32pmJames Wells

Thanks for the excellent column. I have lengthy comments about this column and about regulation generally at​ory/2011/07/09/992879/-Reg​ulation-is-Good-For-Busine​ss!?via=recent.

July 9 at 12:36pmYoubin حبيبتي Kang

seriously america

July 9 at 4:42pmnikfromnyc

This ban is silly. They know that online buyers can get quite cheap “rough service” incandescents ( “rough service 100W”), which are not being banned. However, a ban, unlike a tax, will result in no revenue to support alternative energy research. The need to ban them outright indicates just how favored Edison bulbs really are for dimmable mood lighting, mainly. Almost all of Ikea’s lamps for instance, have cord dimmers since that’s what people want most: the ability to control their environment. That normal bulbs become warmer when dimmed fits very well with ancient human nature and our love of warm glow similar to the evening’s camp fire dimming out as we for tens of thousands of years settled down to sleep. The ban is fascist, pure and simple and it’s based on donations and lobbying efforts by industries who make CFLs which are much more profitable than Edison bulbs!

July 9 at 7:17pmJim Nuzum

CFLs are not the only efficient bulbs. There are efficient incandescents available if you really need that “dying glow of the evening fire” effect.

July 11 at 9:54am


This Barton guy is a tool, why is he still in office? Just another Republican try at supreme power. What a disgrace.

July 9 at 7:41pmToni Danielson


July 9 at 11:43pmMark A. Jones

I agree with this. Why should the Government tell me what kind of light bulb to use?

July 10 at 12:27amJim Nuzum

The gov’t tells you to do a lot of things, Randist. I bet you do them, too. It’s for the good of all, why do you have a problem with that?

July 11 at 9:52am

Bob Carver

This country has come full circle. Time for Revolution II.

July 11 at 4:10pm

James Harris

Repealing the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is dim-watted.

July 10 at 1:27amThom Langley

The GOP — cranking out the lies), whoops, those are “jobs”, aren’t they? Oh,….no. Must just be payback from Barton for his shareholders electrical generation constructors. Check his contributors, their affiliations, his financial holdings, and who in his family has contracts to build power plants or their pieces and parts, and you’ll have your answer.

July 10 at 12:20pmStacy Hare

I prefer a satisfactory light bulb that I know I can throw in the trash when I’m done with it and doesn’t potentially lead to environmental issues. If I’m one of the top bulb suppliers in the US or the world I might support higher legal standards on my product if I know it would cause some of my competitors to loose market share and force consumers to purchase my product.

July 10 at 1:42pmStacy Hare

If these companies don’t mind just make more effecient bulbs with higher standards on their own — why do they need a law? I’m sure the mercury suppliers aren’t complaining.

July 10 at 1:49pm

Daniel Foster

“The bill would unravel a piece of federal legislation that was strongly supported by light bulb manufacturers and has spurred innovation in the lighting industry”. In other words Republicans are against innovation and business desires. This should backfire on them hopefully. They are against American saving “$85 per household per year on more efficient lighting”. They want to support the toxic pollution of 33 of their beloved dirty coal plants. Talk about corrupted politicians that are bought out and cannot reason.

July 10 at 8:24pmMileau Ash

Thanks for sharing this, Daniel.It’s the little things that often make the biggest difference. Having energy efficiency requirements for lighting helps to drive industry and consumers do respond. I’m happy to see that now our American companies are making more efficient bulbs than they were before the 2007 bill was made into law. But have you looked lately at most of the compact fluorescent bulbs on your store’s shelves? Nearly all are made in China. It is ultimately up to each individual to make smart decisions every day. Be efficient in your own energy practices, AND buy American-made goods.

July 11 at 8:47am

Jim Nuzum

What isn’t made in China? That’s the real travesty here. These clowns & their corp-loving policies have allowed the traitorous manufacturers of America to outsource everything. Profit over country. That’s patriotism!

July 11 at 9:50am

Bill Gresham

“will eliminate the need for 33 large power plants”.This is the sentence that offends Barton. What a drongo!

July 11 at 1:06amJim Nuzum

With unspoken addendum “and the profits made thereby”

July 11 at 9:47am

Dan Moss

debt ceiling, what debt ceiling.

July 11 at 10:08amTimothy M Whitehill

How many Republicans does it take to change a lightbulb?

None, because they don’t change anything.

July 11 at 11:03am


New title: Republicans Waste/Steal $12 Billion A Year from Consumers by Repealing Light Bulb Efficiency Standard.

July 11 at 2:40pmcrazy tempura

Here’s the Republican/conservative/li​bertarian mind:

Who cares? Who cares if repealing this law that Obama supports costs the country more and makes us look like effing hypocrites on fiscal issues, especially with most of the media going our way? Who cares about destroying the planet on which we live and our relationship with industry when we can shove a spear into the most popular Democrat in a generation?

Certainly not us on the Right.

July 11 at 3:30pmEmily Main

So, the Republicans, who claim to all be about states’ rights and the state’s ability to govern as it sees fit, are now removing a state’s right to set lighting efficiency standards? At what point are people going to wake up to the complete idiocy and hypocrisy of showboating politics?

July 12 at 9:41amPeggy R. Henderson

The R’s never met a regulation they liked….Unless it’s women’s lives they are regulating.. almost forgot that one.

July 14 at 12:15pmPeter Dublin

It is a ban -not only on simple incandescents starting 2012 (28% energy reduction reqd).but also on ALL known incandescents by 2020 (67% energy reduction reqd).- INCLUDING therefore the announced Philips etc “New Incandescents”.- which the politicians waving them around like to keep VERY quiet about.The Energy Information Administration at Dept of Energy (see their press releases).also confirm that any lamp on the market in 2020.“will have to be as efficient as CFLs” by such time.Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on view!) incandescents can’t technically be made to such energy usage,and even if they could, the profit -seeking manufacturers behind the ban would be unlikely to pursue it given the high cost of such bulbs relative to more profitable CFLs/LEDs.More on the industrial politics behind the ban, with references and official communications.

July 15 at 4:37pmPeter Dublin

Consumers as a whole will hardly save MONEY.– regardless of what the energy savings are:Bulb cost + Higher electricity payments to utilities to compensate for any decreased sales.So, it’s not just in having to pay more for the light bulbs as an initial cost.(or being forced to pay for them, via taxpayer CFL programs).- but also because electricity companies are being taxpayer subsidised.or allowed to raise Bill rates to compensate for any reduced.electricity use, as already seen both federally and in California, Ohio etc,and before them in the UK and other European countries.( as referenced,​niacfl ).

July 15 at 4:42pmPeter Dublin

1. Only c. 2% grid electricity saved, DOE etc data = No large power plant would be saved, even with supposed energy savings:

July 15 at 4:46pmJeff Deering

If these bulbs are all that you say they are , they should sell themselves.

July 16 at 12:06pm