Monday, December 19, 2011

Light Bulb Companies Pissed Off

My libertarian sensibilities were offended when I heard that the government was outlawing incandescent light bulbs. Turns out, I was just being suckered by Republican hyperbole. You see, "outlawing incandescent light bulbs" was actually President Bush signing a bill that required light bulbs to use 30% less electricity (for the same amount of lumens) by January 2012. The fact that most light bulb makers decided that this goal would best be met by switching over to the fluorescent light bulbs was simply a fact of expediency and simplicity. There are actually incandescent bulbs that use 30% less electricity for the same light, such as halogen bulbs, but they aren't as common in the market.

Of course, Republicans are still going on fighting the "outlawing of incandescent light bulbs" and are working hard to make sure that, come January 2012, not only is the light bulb requirement repealed, but ALL light bulb standards are repealed as well.

Which, of course, annoys the hell out of the people who make light bulbs, who have spent millions re-tooling all of their factories to meet the new standards and make the new format fluorescent bulbs. They not only see the Republican attempts to repeal the law as potentially undercutting them, causing them to have wasted all that money, but also opening up the market to any fly-by-night company who is able to coast in with cut-rate incandescent bulbs and make a killing. The light bulb manufacturers are imagining 25-cent light bulbs from China on shelves next to their 2-dollar bulbs that the government had insisted they develop.

(And of course, when the 25-cent light bulb burns your house down... well, that's another story entirely.)

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