a congressman explained why he wanted to prevent a federal ban on traditional
If the new energy-efficient light bulbs save money, and if they're
better for the environment, we should trust our constituents to make the choice
on their own to move toward these bulbs," Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said.
"Let the market decide."
Imagine that! Trust consumers. Let the market decide. A common-sense idea
that expresses basic economic principles.
But such simple wisdom is uncommonly rare these days among lawmakers on both
sides of the aisle.
The reason for Burgess' remarks stems from one of President George W. Bush's
less-stellar moments, when in 2007 he signed a wrong-headed energy bill pushed
by Democrats. That law, among other things, sought to ban the traditional,
reliable and incredibly cheap incandescent light bulb.
Democrats planned to achieve this goal by imposing efficiency standards on
light bulbs that those incandescents would never meet.
The rules were supposed to be phased in, first hitting 100-watt bulbs in
2012, followed by 75-watt bulbs this year and the 60-watts in 2014.
The standards would have left consumers with little alternative but to buy
more-expensive bulbs, such as halogens, compact fluorescents or LEDs, when their
old incandescents burned out.
In addition, as we noted in this space last year, a second and far more
stringent efficiency standard is set to kick in by 2020 that even today's
compact fluorescents couldn't meet.
All in the name of saving the planet.
Republicans suspended the rule shortly after taking over Congress in 2011,
and they've kept at it since by denying the Department of Energy funds needed to
implement the standard.
Interestingly, the GOP effort put a spotlight not only on the Democrats'
desire to control every aspect of American life, but on crony capitalism run
The suspension upset big companies like General Electric, Philips and Osram
Sylvania that had been counting on the new rules to create a market for their
Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/071113-663400-gop-suspends-the-light-bulb-ban.htm#ixzz2YnmUBByc