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

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nebraska Bill Update

Nebraska legislature site or bills do not seem to be visible outside the USA,
without workarounds like proxy servers - thank you Vienna Peter for the information!
So without using proxies or google cache etc, those outside the country should not expect the below direct links to work (though I notified the webmaster).

The bill is a composite, including child welfare and other issues.
It was referred to the Judiciary Committee on launch January 19.
It seems the light bulb relevant portion was then referred to the Natural Resources Committee, and briefly discussed last Wednesday, as Senator Fulton's office communicated.
The bill will apparently be taken up more fully in a week or two and a decision made.

The light bulb portion is an interesting alternative to other bills.
It seeks simply to stop local implementation of federal regulations - rather than
the more involved pernmission for local manufacture and sale.
However, since it refers to the current federal oversight funding block (which as it stands finishes September 30), it would presumably have to be looked at again should funded federal oversight recommence.

The bill text is not helpful, with no direct reference to light bulbs.
The statement of intent for the judiciary committee does however (logically enough) show the intention.
Linked to downloaded pdf document, so viewable for all:

Introducer's Statement of Intent LB1164
Chairperson: Senator Brad Ashford
Committee: Judiciary

The following constitutes the reasons for this bill and the purposes which are sought to be accomplished thereby:
LB1164 amends the duties of the Attorney General to specifically prohibit the Attorney General from bringing an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6304. This federal statute provides attorneys general of individual states the option of bringing an action to restrain any person from distributing in commerce a general service incandescent lamp that does not comply with the applicable standard established under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

As the current Congress has delayed funding to the United States Department of Energy to ensure such inefficient light bulbs are no longer placed in the stream of commerce, state attorneys general are the sole remaining means of enforcement. LB1164 is intended to prohibit the potential for such enforcement in Nebraska.

Principal Introducer: Senator Tony Fulton

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Previous blog post January 31

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In the Nebraska state legislature, Senator Tony Fulton has launched bill LB1164, as I understand on January 19th (the legislature links have been repeatedly down, end January).
The legislature bill link is here, or try via the legislature home page.

As Kevin O' Hanlon of the local Lincoln Journal Star news site writes (extracts):

A state lawmaker wants to make sure Nebraska's attorney general doesn't get involved with enforcing a federal law aimed at making incandescent light bulbs more efficient and promoting the use of energy-efficient compact fluorescents.
Lincoln Sen. Tony Fulton introduced a bill (LB1164) Thursday that would preclude the attorney general from getting involved in enforcement of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which is allowed under the 2007 law.

Fulton said his training as an engineer makes him interested in the new light bulb technology, but the federal government is overreaching with the law. He takes particular umbrage with language that would allow state attorneys general to enforce it.
"This is about what government should be able to do," Fulton said. "We're saying no. I would like to have said, 'Thou shall not be sending light bulb police into our homes,' but I can't do that. We are state senators. That's a federal law."

As seen, after a lull, several states are now launching repeal ban bills.
I understand, from talking to ban-opposing Federal Congress members from different states,
that several of their states are also planning launches, awaiting the fall of 2012 for 2 reasons: The September expiry of the federal bulb ban oversight funding, and the following Congress and Presidential elections.

I will shortly deal with the 10 state bills as a whole,
the commonality and differences in the bill texts,
and their chances of success (beyond the legislated Texas bill) with respect to the 9th and 10th amendments and added inter-state commerce clause, in the US constitution.

Progress updates and official links to the 10 local state freedom bulb bills can be seen on the website, here: http://ceolas.net/#bills

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