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Nation seeing ‘lights out’ on common sense

Published 10:21am Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It should be called the law of unintended consequences, and Congress should learn to abide by it, taking enough time to discover whether the road they choose to follow is smooth or filled with ruts.

Back in 2007, the Congress in their wisdom ruled that starting in the year 2012 the ordinary incandescent light bulbs we’ve been using for ages must be phased out and completely regulated away by 2014.

They are to be replaced by so-called CFLs, those twisted fluorescent gizmos that if dropped become tiny mercury bombs.

Why do away with something we’ve been using, without problems, for just about forever? Well, because they allegedly contribute to a deadly hazard that exists only in their minds — nonexistent global warming.

Just think, every time you turn on a light you are helping to barbecue the planet, according to Mr. Gore and his fellow global-warming alarmists in Congress.

Shame on you!

Congress totally ignored the warnings that the allegedly wondrous CFLs they want to jam down our throats use high levels of mercury and when they break, as light bulbs tend to do when we drop them, they scatter mercury like shrapnel when a shell explodes.

The clean-up required to undo the damage cause by dropped CFLs is extensive and hazardous as well.

In addition, medical experts warn that when broken, the bulbs Congress favors can cause migraine headaches and even epilepsy attacks. Moreover they are unreliable in colder temperatures, failing to emit much heat, are hostile to such gimmicks as dimmer switches, and their lifespan is limited by being frequently turned on or off.

In addition, in this period of economic uncertainty and growing unemployment, the replacement of our usual bulbs has cost a lot of jobs.

General Electric, for example, has closed factories in Kentucky and Ohio, and has recently announced they are closing their major incandescent factory in Winchester, Va. — a factory that employed 200 of our fellow Americans and the last major incandescent manufacturing facility in the United States.

That’s good news for China and other countries that will take up the slack with CFL manufacture, but will also undoubtedly create a new form of bootlegging or, rather, bulblegging.

According to the Heritage Foundation, in an attempt to undo the damage Congress has done with this outlandish regulation, Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, Michael Burgess, R-Texas, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., have introduced the so-called “Better Use of Light Bulbs” (BULB) Act last week.

It would repeal Subtitle B of Title III of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 — the phase-out of the incandescent bulb.

Said Rep. Blackburn: “Washington banned a perfectly good product and fired hard working Americans based on little more than their own whim and the silly notion that they know better than the American consumer.

“Now, hundreds more Americans are looking for work while assembly lines in China are churning out fluorescent bulbs for the U.S. market.”

Does anyone in Congress care about the plight of American workers, or are they so deeply embedded in the fantasies of Al Gore that they are willing to put American workers out of work?

Thank God for the oncoming Congressional elections. We’ll have an opportunity to put out the lights on Capitol Hill for a lot of these crazed ideologues.

Mike Reagan is the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan. E-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.

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  • indieVoter

    Man, you guys are going to be disappointed. Despite what you see at a tea party event, most of America
    would rather see us all prosper over the next 28 months.

    The more we continue to pull out of the Great Recession, the more people will recognize and acknowledge
    that the 8 years of Bush caused it. Bush inherited a thriving economy with a budget surplus and steered it
    right into the ditch. Obama isn’t just sitting back and blaming Bush. He’s been taking action and it’s working.

    (Report comment)

  • http://www.tytandan.com 79Tiger

    No, we give him credit for causing the turmoil. His first taste of revenge from the people will come on 11-2-2010. He may not want to stick around for 2012 to see what happens when the people really have a chance at him.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    I believe you’d rather see America in turmoil than for President Obama to get credit for doing something good.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    economic patriot act. Sounds like our other boondoggle,EPA.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    “Does buying a cfl bulb manufactured in China really an energy savings?”

    - On my electric bill, yes. I also think that’s a loaded question. I favor President Obama’s
    “Economic Patriot Act” which will keep our big corporations from exporting American jobs.

    “Also does China handle such materials as mercury safely,etc.?”

    - I don’t know but I’d bet they don’t. Again, I favor the Economic Patriot Act to ensure we have
    the ability to buy CFL bulbs made in America…preferably Ohio.

    “Is the chinese worker pay livable and are their working hours acceptable?”

    - Of course not. Again, I support the Economic Patriot Act. As a side note, it’s interesting to hear
    all this concern for environmental issues and worker/human rights issues in China.

    “GE will make a profit because Washington is outlawing the incandescent”

    - If and when the Economic Patriot Act is passed big corporations like GE would be fined for sending
    American jobs overseas and given tax incentives for brnging American jobs back home.

    “I just voted on a survey on how to vote on our incumbants in Washington and sided with 85% to send
    them all packing. Plus the cfl standard bulb is ugly.”

    - Opinions are like light bulbs. Everybody has more than one. :)

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    And we can vote on my last comment Indie. If you want.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Does buying a cfl bulb manufactured in China really an energy savings? I’m not sure and have no idea how to determine the energy usage to get the bulb to Wal-Mart’s shelf.
    All materials have to get to the plant in China. Also does China handle such materials as mercury safely,etc.?
    During manufacturing are all pollution problems at the plant safe?
    Next you have to pack into a huge ocean going vessel container ship and travel to the US. Then unload and truck to the store;and don’t forget the “empty” container that has to get back to China.
    Is the chinese worker pay livable and are their working hours acceptable?
    And have to remember that all cfl’s “as afar as I have seen” come from China; which means US workers are out of jobs now.

    Does the energy savings justify all of the above???

    Last but not least,GE will make a profit because Washington is outlawing the incandescent and comsumers in the US will PICK UP THE TAB.

    I just voted on a survey on how to vote on our incumbants in Washington and sided with 85% to send them all packing.

    Plus the cfl standard bulb is ugly.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    As you might’ve figured out from the first line, it was a direct reply to your comment.

    “I agree with you Mike Reagan, when congress involves them selves in something they don’t read,
    have no knowledge of and listen to idiots, they’ll mess it up every time.”

    As for your characterization that CFLs don’t last much longer than incandescent bulbs, all I can say that mine
    have lasted for years and are still going strong. They put off plenty of light and almost no heat. I like them.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Indie–What has that got to do with light bulbs?
    Your lights getting dim?

    CFLs don’t put out the same amount of light as incandescent, so you better get one marked 100 watt, but be sure to get the mini 100 or it may not fit.
    Also, the cfls cost 6 times as much but don’t last much longer than the incandescent.
    And have you seen the new cfl floodlamps for outdoor use?
    We’re getting ripped off again. Thanks GE, and Washington.

    .

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    “I agree with you Mike Reagan, when congress involves them selves in something they don’t read,
    have no knowledge of and listen to idiots, they’ll mess it up every time.”

    Are you kidding? That was the GOP playbook for the entirety of the Bush Administration.

    Bush himself didn’t read his late-August 2008 Presidential Daily Briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to
    Attack Inside United States.” You know, the one that said Al Quaeda members had been living in and
    traveling to the US…setting up a support network for terrorists…and they had been engaging in suspicious
    behavior consistent with an airline hijacking?

    Then Bush and Cheney shoved the Patriot Act down America’s throat without even giving Congress time
    to read it. You right-wingers should’ve been more upset at the major sacrifices of personal liberty and the
    suspension of habeas corpus that were part of the Patriot Act. They proceeded to use this as a scare
    tactic for scaring America with a daily focus on what color our terror alert was. When’s the last time you
    saw our “terror alert level” on TV or heard what color code we were at? We haven’t had a terrorist attack on
    America during this time either have we? Hmmmmm.

    Of course, there’s the classic failure to not read, listen or understand which was our pre-emptive attack
    on Iraq for possessing WMDs which even Bush later admitted was fiction. You can toss in the comical
    Jet-Pilot Bush flying in and announcing “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq on that one too.

    (Report comment)

    • indieVoter

      “late-August 2008 Presidential Daily Briefing”…you knew what I meant. :)

      (Report comment)

    • Cashmere

      What do light bulbs have to do with 9/11? You’re not going to to print that list of Presidents and deficits are you, Indie? :)

      And my CFL bulbs have broken and quit,even exploded, and I happily throw them away in the trash which I’m not supposed to do. Perhaps the Progressive Democrats should pass a law creating a task force to study creating a bureau with enforcement powers to stop me, or educate me.

      I will be sad if they get rid of the old light bulbs, the CFL ones don’t fit in some my lamps and sockets. I’ll just buy Chinese lamps, I guess.

      (Report comment)

      • indieVoter

        I’ve used CFL bulbs bulbs for years now. I’ve never had a problem with them. I did have one break because I
        dropped it and I didn’t have any problem that I didn’t have when I’d dropped an incandescent bulb…namely sweeping
        up the broken glass. I haven’t had any of them burn out yet so disposing of them hasn’t been a problem for me.
        Maybe their disposal is a business opportunity for someone.

        They don’t need to pass legislation to make you refrain from throwing the bulbs in the trash. They could probably
        just do that under the Patriot Act if they wanted. :)

        I’m sure they will have the various, non-standard size receptacles in some lamps. If there is demand, someone will
        step in and provide the supply.

        As for what light bulbs have to do with 9/11, the answer is “nothing.” On the other hand, the points I made about 9/11
        and the rest has everything to do with politicians who “involve themselves in something they don’t read, have no
        knowledge of and listen to idiots, (and) they’ll mess it up every time” as Mike put it.

        Oh, almost forgot, did you need to see the list of national debt by President again? The fact that you ask that question
        tells me maybe you don’t…you get the point. Maybe now I can be put on that progressive task force. :) just kidding!

        (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    I agree with you Mike Reagan, when congress involves them selves in something they don’t read,have no knowledge of and listen to idiots, they’ll mess it up everytime.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    “Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, Michael Burgess, R-Texas, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., have introduced
    the so-called “Better Use of Light Bulbs” (BULB) Act last week.”

    It’s no surprise that a couple of Congressmen from Texas would push a bill that favors the bulbs which
    require 5 times the energy. Transitioning to the CFL bulbs is about reducing our energy demand and dependence.
    It doesn’t matter whether you believe in global warming. If we can use 5 times less energy in our lighting
    that’s good for America. Ultimately, and I’d expect the adoptive son of a free-marketer like Reagan to understand
    this, it’s all about supply and demand.

    By using 5 times less energy to get our light we’re cutting demand. That ultimately lowers the cost of energy
    and reduces our energy dependence on other nations, including those in the middle-east.

    It’s astonishing how blatantly this guy distorts the truth in every single column he writes.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    “In addition, in this period of economic uncertainty and growing unemployment, the replacement of our
    usual bulbs has cost a lot of jobs. General Electric, for example, has closed factories in Kentucky and
    Ohio, and has recently announced they are closing their major incandescent factory in Winchester, Va.”

    The light bulb’s creation is credited to Thomas Edison, founder of GE, in 1879. GE makes CFC bulbs
    too. The problem isn’t that America is transitioning to a much more energy-efficient light bulb. The problem
    is that today’s corporations have no loyalty to our nation which gave them the chance to rise to prominence
    in the first place.

    What we need is an Economic Patriot Act that punishes companies that ship American jobs overseas
    and provides incentives for companies that bring American jobs back home. This, by the way, is something
    President Obama is already working on.

    Robert Kennedy once said “Some men curse the darkness. I choose to light a candle.” Instead of cursing
    a situation where greedy corporations inherently try to capitalize on cheap foreign labor, we shouldn’t be
    afraid to light the way to ensuring they maintain economic patriotism…and light a few CFC bulbs in the process.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    “”Why do away with something we’ve been using, without problems, for just about forever?”

    1. CFC bulbs are give you 5 times the light as an incandescent bulb. That means a 15-watt CFC bulb provides
    the same amount of light as a 75-watt incandescent bulb.

    2. CFC bulbs last 10 years.

    (Report comment)

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