The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, which unanimously passed South Carolina’s Senate panel, would allow South Carolina manufacturers to continue to sell incandescent bulbs so long as they have “Made in South Carolina” on them and are sold only within the state. Other states have floated the idea, and last year Arizona passed a bill that would have done the same thing, but Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the legislation…

The complaints of CFLs are fairly well known by now. Many consumers prefer the soft yellow lighting of incandescents to the unnatural, office-like white light of fluorescents. Other critics point out that CFLs do not work well in colder temperatures, so they emit less heat, forcing Americans to use their heaters more. Residents in houses with well-and-septic systems use the heat from incandescent bulbs to keep the water above freezing. Furthermore, CFLs do not work well with dimmer switches, and the lifespan of the bulb diminishes when turned off and on frequently.

And they’re more expensive. But that’s all right, says the Department of Energy, because they use less energy than incandescents and last longer. Although, as I mentioned on C-SPAN last week, studies have shown that the energy savings from CFLs aren’t as great as initially purported. California utilities have spent nearly $550 million to subsidize CFL bulbs for its consumers, and these utilities were eager to see what kind of savings they were getting to subsidize bulb purchases. It turned out that the savings weren’t nearly as high as the electric utility PG&E thought they would be.