Washington, D.C., February 9, 2011 – Freedom Action this week launched a national grassroots campaign to repeal the ban on incandescent light bulbs that is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2012. Supporters of repealing the ban are being invited to sign a petition to Congress at FreeOurLight.org.
The ban on standard incandescent bulbs was included in comprehensive anti-energy legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress and signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush in 2007. The chief sponsors of the ban were Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
Rep. Upton, now Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said that his committee will hold a hearing on the ban, but he has not promised to repeal it, as was erroneously reported in the press in December. The 2007 law makes the sale of standard incandescent 100-watt bulbs illegal as of January 1, 2012, 75-watt bulbs as of January 1, 2013, and 60- and 40-watt bulbs as of January 1, 2014.
“The light bulb ban is an outrageous government limitation on consumer choice and intrusion into the home of every American,” said Myron Ebell, Director of Freedom Action.
“There is overwhelming public support that spans the political spectrum for repealing the ban on incandescent light bulbs,” Ebell continued. “Freedom Action will marshal that support and focus it on Members of Congress. We are confident that Congress will repeal the ban this year after hearing from millions of constituents.”
One bill to repeal the ban has been introduced in the House, H. R. 91, by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) and others. Other Senate and House bills are expected to be introduced this month by Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.).
The only currently affordable (but considerably more expensive) alternative to the incandescent bulb is the compact fluorescent light (or CFL). CFLs use less electricity, but have many limitations and drawbacks. If CFLs were clearly superior products, they would dominate the market. Congress banned incandescent bulbs solely because they are somewhat less energy efficient than CFLs, regardless of what people actually want.
Freedom Action is a web-based gathering of activists dedicated to self governance and free markets. Its web site is FreedomAction.org. The light bulb campaign web site is FreeOurLight.org. Myron Ebell may be contacted at mebell@FreedomAction.org or at (202) 331-2256.
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