If energy needs to be saved, there are good ways to do it.
                                                               Government product regulation is not one of them

Thursday, June 23, 2011

House Energy Committee to Vote on Allowing Regular Light Bulbs

Myron Ebell, Director of the Free Our Light campaign (Facebook) reports...
"The Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan), has agreed to support a bill to repeal the ban outright. And the plan is to have a vote on a new version of the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (H. R. 91) in July."

Refers also to article, June 22 2011, The Detroit News (extracts:)

Upton: The House will vote to bring back the bulb
by Henry Payne (TheMichiganView.com)

The bulb is back.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., has finally agreed to support a bill this summer that means lights out on the looming 2012 ban on the common light bulb. Upton himself co-sponsored 2007 legislation making light bulbs illegal, a ban that has become a symbol of bipartisan Big Government run amok.

Upton has come under increased pressure in recent weeks, sources say, after failing to follow up on a promise he made after assuming the committee chairmanship that he would hold hearings on reversing the ban. After months of paralysis - and with the ban just six months from going into effect on January 1 - outrage was building among his own Republican committee colleagues and conservative activists, including a national petition campaign, FreeOurLight.org, sponsored by the influential Competitive Enterprise Institute.

"Freedom Action's Free Our Light campaign has demonstrated that there is widespread public opposition to the light bulb ban," says Myron Ebell, Director of Freedom Action at CEI. "We're pleased that Chairman Upton has seen the light and congratulate him on his decision. We look forward to the House passing the bill to repeal the ban and its eventual enactment later this year."

After Upton scheduled hearings this week featuring rent-seeking corporate fat cats that stood to benefit from the ban, anger boiled over and the chairman agreed not only to cancel the hearings but to bring up a bill repealing the ban. The View's source says that the bill will likely be brought up under "suspension," which means no amendments will be allowed and passage requires a two-thirds majority.

E&E News reporter Katie Howell is also reporting that Upton "he is working with Texas Republicans Joe Barton and Mike Burgess on language repealing the light bulb standards." (Link from here, subscription required.)

"We're very close to seeing an agreement emerge and happen," Upton told reporters at a conservative blogger briefing hosted by the Heritage Foundation.

The ban has been mostly covered up by the green mainstream media, and consumers were only just learning of the ban as bulbs have begun disappearing from shelves. In the meantime, bulb manufacturers had already eliminated hundreds of incandescent plants in the United States (the last plant closed in Winchester, Va. last year) in preparation for the ban - off-shoring the jobs to China where the more expensive, replacement compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) could be manufactured.

So much for green creating American jobs.

Republicans - led by Texas Rep. Joe Barton together with fellow Texan Michael Burgess and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. - introduced bulb restoration legislation immediately upon the GOP taking over the House this year. Republicans overwhelmingly support bringing back the bulb, while global-warming-obsessed Democrats say making bulbs illegal is crucial to saving the planet. Ironically, saving the earth has meant destroying union plant jobs.

In contrast, the ban had been supported by big corporations like General Electric and Philips who saw a an opportunity to use government to monopolize a new, more expensive market while transferring jobs to China to earn higher margins.

A similar Bill in the Senate (Mike Enzi, S.395) also stalled in the Energy Committee earlier this year, without going to a vote as the support was not there, and again the leading Republican on the Senate Committee, Vice Chair (Ranking Member) Lisa Murkowski is for the ban, backing the outspoken pro-regulation Chairman Jeff Bingaman on the issue.
As mentioned in the last blog post, Texas state has enacted a repeal bill,
and a couple of other state bills are in progress, though none are likely to reach a governor signature in this session (before summer recess).

Progress of House Repeal Bill (Joe Barton H.R.91 of 1/5/2011)
Progress of Senate Repeal Bill (Mike Enzi S.395 of 2/17/2011)
Progress of Michele Bachmann House Bill (H.R.849 of 3/1/2011)
Information updates on individual US states repeal bans   http://ceolas.net/#li01inx

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