Eureka! Congress blocks the incandescent light bulb ban

posted at 4:05 pm on December 16, 2011 by Tina Korbe

No sooner did my mom clear the supermarket shelves of incandescent light bulbs than the light bulbs finally went on in congressional negotiators’ heads. The Washington Times reports:

Congressional negotiators struck a deal Thursday that overturns the new rules that were to have banned sales of traditional incandescent light bulbs beginning next year.

That agreement is tucked inside the massive 1,200-page spending bill that funds the government through the rest of this fiscal year, and which both houses of Congress will vote on Friday. Mr. Obama is expected to sign the bill, which heads off a looming government shutdown.

Congressional Republicans dropped almost all of the policy restrictions they tried to attach to the bill, but won inclusion of the light bulb provision, which prevents the Obama administration from carrying through a 2007 law that would have set energy efficiency standards that effectively made the traditional light bulb obsolete.

Stopping the bulb ban was a chief GOP priority coming into this year, with all of the candidates seeking to become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee saying they would push through a repeal. That bill cleared the House but Democrats blocked its consideration in the Senate.

Good riddance. From the very beginning, the light bulb ban represented a vapid incomprehension of the worth and wonder of creative destruction, a driveling distrust of the innovation of entrepreneurs and an ambitious overreach into individual lives — so much so that it became highly representative and symbolic of the excesses of government. Ironic, too, that it was a ban that applied to one of the most ingenious inventions ever to come out of the United States — an invention, no less, that reinforces the importance and power of persistence for schoolchildren the world over.

What was it Edison said again? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Unlike the government, Edison learned from the ways that didn’t work. Would that our governmental leaders would cease to insanely attempt the same, tired solutions, too. Tax the rich! Regulate industry! Engineer reelection!

Before I glow too much about this, though, let me add: The rider doesn’t actually repeal the ban; it just prevents the administration from spending any money to enforce the new light bulb standards. Still, at least we got something out of an 11th-hour spending deal that otherwise came up short.


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Umm. Ed already talked about this today

ConservativePartyNow on December 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) —-> primary.

aquaviva on December 16, 2011 at 4:11 PM

One small step for we oppressed American citizens.

Now, can we open the factories up again?

turfmann on December 16, 2011 at 4:12 PM

it’s like deja vu all over again!

search4truth on December 16, 2011 at 4:12 PM

HA, it brings good things to light – twice.

Flora Duh on December 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

I heard that Nikki Haley un-endorsed Mitt and has instead endorsed incandescent light bulbs.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

So I’ll still be able to buy them….but at 5 times the old price?

mike in NV on December 16, 2011 at 4:14 PM

For once, they tucked something good into one of those spending bills.

The tale I liked best was the one about incandescent bulbs in traffic lights being replaced by LEDs. In northern climes the traffic lights were frosting over because the LEDs don’t give off heat like the incandescent bulbs do. The solution was to install heating elements that took more elctricity than the light bulbs would have. Stupid environmentalists.

backwoods conservative on December 16, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Geeze…Imelt must be asleep at the switch.

BigWyo on December 16, 2011 at 4:14 PM

What? I just bought candles with the expectation that all light bulbs along with any power generation used after the Napoleonic Wars would be banned. Back to windmills and fireplaces – oh sorry those aren’t renewable. Next on the agenda – toilets that actually flush the first time.

Smedley on December 16, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Unlike the government, Edison learned from the ways that didn’t work. Would that our governmental leaders would cease to insanely attempt the same, tired solutions, too. Tax the rich! Regulate industry! Engineer reelection!

Yes, The key here is that Edison tried DIFFERENT ways of doing things, not repeatedly doing the same old, same old Tax the Rich, spend us into oblivion insanity.

Chip on December 16, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Umm. Ed already talked about this today

ConservativePartyNow on December 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

That’s okay. I don’t mind if Tina sheds a little more light on the subject.

backwoods conservative on December 16, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Brilliant!

BRunner on December 16, 2011 at 4:16 PM

And UPS just delivered my case of 100 watt bulbs from Amazon. Oh, well — I can still use them as planned.

Cecil on December 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

The KILL GAIA bill.
/

CorporatePiggy on December 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Dang, and here I was enjoying the saying, “A woman’s right to choose ends at her light bulb.”

The Rogue Tomato on December 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

I wonder how this will hit GE? Weren’t they investing a lot of money in CFL production? Hope they get taken down some pegs for trying to use the government to legislate them into top dog status.

JAGonzo on December 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

This gives me a little more hope for the People.

ObamaCare mandate/Commerce Clause bastardization be damned … it seemed to me that, if a group of political pigs in perpetuity can slither inside of our homes and prevent us from using a damned incandescent lightbulb … then the tail is already wagging the dog … the People are nothing but servants of the State and all was already lost.

I am more hopeful, now.

OhEssYouCowboys on December 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

I’ve read that factories in the US have already closed.
I’ve also noticed that the quality of the bulbs currently available is horrendous – they seem to burn out in no time.

So, even if they can’t enforce the ban, they’ve already screwed up the production chain, making the bulbs less desirable.

mseries on December 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

YES!!!! No more headaches from trying to read by an “Al Gore Pigtail of Darkness.”

TheClearRiver on December 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Delightful

Clever

Let the market decide.

Schadenfreude on December 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

How is not having an comprehensive national energy plan winning? How incredibly short sighted and useless. The people cheering this might as well be fighting for LESS efficient cars and demanding to pay more at the pump. Reducing energy demand reduces the need for more power plants, reduces pollution, and decreases home utility costs.

Zekecorlain on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Disaster avoided!

Karmi on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Finally, the light comes on in Congress.

BobMbx on December 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Jobs are already overseas though.

rollthedice on December 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Unfortunately, Europe hasn’t rescinded its ban and the only place they’ll be made if they are made at all is China.

worldtvlr on December 16, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I am more hopeful, now.

OhEssYouCowboys on December 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

There had to be a breaking point somewhere, and the light bulbs may have been the thing that would finally get people to wake up to just how intrusive our government has become. I’m hoping this is a sign of even better things to come.

backwoods conservative on December 16, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Alternate headline: Blind nuts find SQUIRREL!

Christien on December 16, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Gore hardest hit

TwoShortPlanks on December 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Zekecorlain on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Then by all means, feel free to use them. Just don’t force your decision on the rest of us.

Oh, and the bit about “reduces pollution”… how much pollution do you think will be generated by lightbulbs we can’t dispose of in landfills, and which require a hazmat team driving over to my house to clean up if they break?

psrch on December 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Zekecorlain on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Sarc tag?

JAGonzo on December 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Production has already shut down. The damage has been done. Still, I suppose it’s a moral victory.

ElectricPhase on December 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

I heard that Nikki Haley un-endorsed Mitt and has instead endorsed incandescent light bulbs.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on December 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Good news for the Ron bots.

Roy Rogers on December 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Led lights appear to be the next generation in lighting, in my humble opinion. Yes the technology is expensive now, but should begin to come down as they gain in popularity. LEDs were not mandated by the government and achieve far more than the CFL with regards to efficiency. Not sure about production of the actual LED.

JAGonzo on December 16, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Too late. Our GE plant already closed. Unintended consequences. People out of work. Throw them all out!

BetseyRoss on December 16, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Zekecorlain on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

The use of the term “comprehensive” usually implies comprehension of the subject matter in hand.

When, exactly, has this ever been a defining feature of government?

It’s a safe heuristic to apply – when government calls a plan/legislation “comprehensive” it is anything but. Bet the farm on the exact opposite being true. And run like hell.

TwoShortPlanks on December 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Well….it’s about time someone got some… bulbs!!!!!!!!!!

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I think a good national energy plan would be to build enough power plants to provide the energy required by our increasingly technological society. There’s a huge market for energy. Why not let people make it and sell it. Think of all the jobs that would be created, and the tax revenue generated.

backwoods conservative on December 16, 2011 at 4:33 PM

The reprieve ends on Sept. 30, 2012, the end of the government’s fiscal year.

So maybe the Republican Party is ready to go from being “The Stupid Party” to being “The Half-Assed Party”.

Yippee.

FredJustFred on December 16, 2011 at 4:38 PM

My local waste pick-up company REFUSES to take CFL’s saying they pose a toxic hazard to their workers because of the high mercury content! So much for the latest ECO-NUT, NANNY-STATE plan from the lunatic-left d-cRAT socialists.. I’ll give up incandescent bulbs only when the eco-nuts pry them from my cold, dead hands!

And DO NOT worry about all that toxic mercury in those wonderful, eco-nut CFLs…obozocare will take care of you when you – and the rest of the planet – is overwhelmed by mercury poisoning. See, for EVERY PROBLEM created by the lunatic-left they have a Big Government solution!

TeaPartyNation on December 16, 2011 at 4:39 PM

“Stopping the bulb ban was a chief GOP priority coming into this year.”

If that was a chief GOP priority this year, no wonder the country is screwed.

Mark Ybel on December 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Zekecorlain on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Next to cows, fluorescent lights are the 2nd biggest contributor to Global Warming.

Karmi on December 16, 2011 at 4:42 PM

dang…ok so who wants to buy some Bulbs…I got lots!

Dino V on December 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

What do I do with all the ones that I stocked up on?

rtrajan on December 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Actually-I believe it’s just the funding for enforcement is withheld, and only for the next year.

KornKing on December 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Zekecorlain

Yes I’m gonna start driving my big block chevelle ss427 year round.
The heck with 6 mpg. The snow will be rough though.

angrymike on December 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

And UPS just delivered my case of 100 watt bulbs from Amazon. Oh, well — I can still use them as planned.

Cecil on December 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

I can barely find my washer and dryer in the utility room for all the bulb hoarding I’ve been doing the past year. I never forgave Dubya for that stinkin’ ban. That and a whole lot of other stuff, mainly paving the way for Obama. But I digress.

TxAnn56 on December 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Napolitano was preparing to close the Mexican border as a premptive strike against bulb trafficking.

seven on December 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Geeze…Imelt must be asleep at the switch.

BigWyo on December 16, 2011 at 4:14 PM

That’s the first thought I had, as well.
Is there a chance he “hedged his bet”, and still has all of the G.E. incandescent bulb manufacuring/production lines in place?

listens2glenn on December 16, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Now they tell me–after I hoarded enough 3-ways to last the rest of my life!

schuyler on December 16, 2011 at 4:47 PM

GE, we end good things in life!

Christien on December 16, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Let’s be vewwy VEWWY clear Yall – this bill did NOT get “banned / cancelled”………..the funding for it to be implemented merely got postponed………..

Katfish on December 16, 2011 at 4:50 PM

If this makes it to Obama’s desk AS IS, and he signs it, it will be one of the greatest ironies (paradoxes?) in the history of American politics I can think of.

listens2glenn on December 16, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Unlike the government, Edison learned from the ways that didn’t work.

Oh, Tina. That is just beautiful.

PerceptorII on December 16, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Zekecorlain on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

There are lighting applications where a flourescent light cannot replace an incandescent bulb for both performance and economy.

listens2glenn on December 16, 2011 at 4:55 PM

angrymike on December 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Trying to make me jealous? It’s working . . .

listens2glenn on December 16, 2011 at 4:57 PM

So…..was the fluorescent bulb mandate/hysteria just a way to give GE a reason to close its production facilities here in the US and lay off a bunch of american workers, just so they could create a bunch of jobs in China where the labor is much cheaper?

Did Immelt and Obozo sit in a room and hatch this plan knowing full well that when the incadescent bulb manufacturers here in the US were out of business, GE would acquire a much bigger share of the market?

NapaConservative on December 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Score one for the free markets!

mrkurtz on December 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM

That’s great news! I had nowhere to stash a light bulb collection anyway. But I’m very happy to hear this. I hate those new bulbs.

Urban Infidel on December 16, 2011 at 5:02 PM

I am glad for a reprieve, but want total repeal of the infamous anti-incandescent legislation.

And I am still stocking up on beautiful 100-watt incandescents from Amazon.

Incandescent on December 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Oh, no. Glenn Beck has like 3000 incandescent light bulbs stored in his basement! He was all ready for bulb-aggeddon…

Galtian on December 16, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Umm. Ed already talked about this today

ConservativePartyNow on December 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

I just had this incredible feeling of….deja vu

Umm. Ed already talked about this today

ConservativePartyNow on December 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

I just had this incredible feeling of….deja vu

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on December 16, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Well, I have a couple of hundred I bought…but I bought them on sale…This is good news! Finally a little bit of common sense…News media will be all over this in 5…4…3…Buehler? Buehler???

Chewy the Lab on December 16, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Congress and the White House are chock-full of DIM BULBS.

maineconservative on December 16, 2011 at 5:24 PM

I just had this incredible feeling of….deja vu

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on December 16, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Yes, that’s deja vu, which differs from deja moo: the feeling that you’ve heard this same bull before.

backwoods conservative on December 16, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Zekecorlain on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Fine. You go pay $5.00 for a curley-Q, dim, toxic light bult. I pay $1.00 for 3 incandescents.

Out in the real world, the middle class is holding on for dear life thanks to the idiotic domestic policies of your president. This is one less that we have to worry with.

Lighten up, Francis.

kingsjester on December 16, 2011 at 5:30 PM

This is good news. Those cork-screw bulbs look terrible, they are a hazard if you break them, and they take the better part of an hour to actually light up after you flip the switch. Not a fan.

Aodhan on December 16, 2011 at 5:48 PM

I’ve heard tell from a friend who knows someone that bought 40,000 bulbs and repackaged them with the words Novelty Item in an attempt to beat the ban.

Sorry he took a bath on the bulbs but I am relieved that at least one aspect of progressive/statist insanity has been halted for now.

Rixon on December 16, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Zekecorlain on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

What the hell sense does a “national” energy policy. Typical 1 size fits all BS. What energy do I save, switching to mercury twists when it’s 28 farenheit outside???

Why wind power when the hydraulics gum up at 10 below

Electricity comes in handy at 10 below, don’t you know.

No. You don’t

WryTrvllr on December 16, 2011 at 5:58 PM

The bulbs are banned in Germany (shocking, I know) but some clever Germans repackaged them and sold them as heating elements. Why don’t the bulb manufacturers make 99 watt bulbs? Sort of like the game of Pai Kow played in legal LA casinos where the object is to get to 22, because Blackjack is illegal.

Rixon on December 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM

What do I do with all the ones that I stocked up on?

rtrajan on December 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

You can sell them to me since I live in CA. No more bright bulbs after the new year, but then again Californias legislature is full of dim bulbs so it’s not surprising ;-)

marinconservative on December 16, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Now what the heck am I suppose to do with all these light bulbs!?
This is crazy! I had it all planned out! I was going to make a killing in the black market! An absolute killing! Now, my dreams of an island paradise have crumbled!

JellyToast on December 16, 2011 at 6:22 PM

this is really no victory at all…a small crumb to the right wing peasants.

I suspect that they’ll ‘find’ that consumption of incandescents will shrink by Sept anyway…1. Huge numbers have already been hoarded and 2. major companies, wholesalers, retailers will already be cleaning out their shelves…after all they’ll figure it will be ban on again in Sept.

So the left and R patsies will pat themselves on the back and say, the country has moved on…put the ban on again. GE/leftist enviro groups will not allow this to stand

r keller on December 16, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Great!

Now could you people do something about the enviro toilets?

Jenny Hatch
Editor at Blogging Mothers Magazine

JennyHatch on December 16, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Why don’t the bulb manufacturers make 99 watt bulbs? Sort of like the game of Pai Kow played in legal LA casinos where the object is to get to 22, because Blackjack is illegal.

Rixon on December 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM

The ban applies to 100-75 watt this year (or now, next sept.
It applies to 75-60 next year, then 60-40 the following.

Or some stairsteps like that.

Hey Zekecorlain, forgot to mention, we have 4 hrs solar insolation per day…..

WryTrvllr on December 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Great!

Now could you people do something about the enviro toilets?

Jenny Hatch
Editor at Blogging Mothers Magazine

JennyHatch on December 16, 2011 at 6:28 PM

We do!!!

We hire municipal employees to flush our hydrants, wasting thousands of gallons, to ensure the chlorine doesn’t settle out in the pipes. (safe from the terrorists though)

WryTrvllr on December 16, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Bought a few cases of 75 and 100 watt bulbs early on, Just enough to make it through 2012 (I hope)until we can kick these fools out on their arse and maybe repeal some of their ill constructed bills.

RiCkY.D. on December 16, 2011 at 6:36 PM

I give up on this topic.

It is still illegal to make or sell the bulbs. All that has happened is they have agreed not to give the funding to enforce this . . . for a year.

Alana on December 16, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Environmentally correct light bulbs have some use.

Ever since I threatened to drop one on my front porch my obnoxious greenie neighbor has stopped coming over.

enginemike on December 16, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I was going to start stock-piling them myself. I already said that, right? Here’s another tidbit – I’d go blak marcket if I had to.

The Nerve on December 16, 2011 at 7:31 PM

I was going to start stock-piling them myself. I already said that, right? Here’s another tidbit – I’d go blak marcket if I had to.

The Nerve on December 16, 2011 at 7:31 PM

I’ve got your black market right here. (You hear that Lisa Jackson?)

Been stocking up on 60 & 100W for at least a year. I’ll continue until there are no more on the shelves. I don’t trust this congressional “block”…the greens are now fully red.

Seriously, hit me up if you need any when all you can get is $9 curly q puke lights. I’m in Raleigh.

mapper on December 16, 2011 at 8:21 PM

…just found 10,000 ways…

I do believe the quoted figure is off by at least one order of magnitude, but you’d never know that from the first page of Google results.

hicsuget on December 16, 2011 at 9:05 PM

L-O-V-E it!!!!!

Conservchik on December 16, 2011 at 10:56 PM

I’m still going to buy some more before the end of the year just in case. So far here in northern Alabama we haven’t had quality problems yet. The grocery store has a generic brand that only costs $1.15 for a pack of 4 bulbs. Walmart has a generic brand and the GE brand. I never buy the ones made by GE because they are completely sold out to and supporting Obummer.

sherrimae on December 16, 2011 at 11:02 PM

So, even if they can’t enforce the ban, they’ve already screwed up the production chain, making the bulbs less desirable.

mseries on December 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

This would be known as the visible hand of the government in action.

roy_batty on December 16, 2011 at 11:32 PM

Ironic use of the California state motto, since we’re already stuck with the ban out here.

Arnold Yabenson on December 16, 2011 at 11:57 PM

One day late and two dollars short, Republicans! This move only delays the ban; does not remove it. Whatever happened to the pledge by the Michigan idiot to repeal the ban? Oh, yeah, that piece of legislation was voted down by committee. So keep stocking up; there will be a need on down the road.

gasmeterguy on December 17, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Let the markets decide not the government!

The creative destruction process does not need assistance from those with ulterior motives

Not-a-Marxist on December 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Well CRAP. This is annoying.
I bought about 3 years supply of these just yesterday.
The whole time I was buying them (In two different stores because I was sort of embarrased) I was thinking, “Oh, they won’t really do it! They won’t really ban them!”

And they didn’t.

MAC1000 on December 17, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Well, technically, they ARE still banned. There’s just no money to enforce the law.

The question now is whether retails will continue to stock 100W bulbs, knowing that technically it’s illegal to sell them. This is sort of like speeding even though you know you probably won’t get caught — do you take the chance? I think that many retailers will not — which means that 100W bulbs may be hard to find from now on.

clayj on December 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM

What was it Edison said again? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Yup. He did. Now to get rid of that multitude of government agencies that don’t work. At least Edison knew to abandon those bulbs that wouldn’t work. Congress ought to get a clue …

Woody

woodcdi on December 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I hate when they rebrand a lower wattage bulb as a true replacement for a bulb. Saying a new 72 watt bulb with a more economical filament and longer life is equivalent to 100 watts of a standard bulb is misleading and annoying!!

TXConserv on December 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

All this will do is shine a bright light on the dim bulbs who passed this monstrosity in in the first place!

Come on 2012!

Randy Larsen on December 17, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Great! So…when will congress think that the American people are also smart enough to decide what kind of toilets to buy?

playsalieri on December 17, 2011 at 8:54 PM

… And after I’d shamelessly cornered the market on 100W bulbs. Wait until the boss receives my expense report!

Naupaka on December 17, 2011 at 10:05 PM