In 2007, Congress passed an energy bill that included new standards for lighting. The bill required roughly 25% greater efficiency for light bulbs, phased in from 2012 through 2014. This requirement effectively banned the sale of most incandescent light bulbs. But, in their enthusiasm for favoring light bulbs that use less energy they failed to consider other consequences.
Here are some of the unintended consequences:
Loss of Manufacturing Jobs in US: General Electric has closed factories in Kentucky and Ohio and recently announced that it is closing its major incandescent factory in Virginia. Take a look at your new CFL bulbs (compact fluorescent), you will see they are “Made in China“. For an article about this by the Heritage Foundation, click here.
Health Issues: claims that fluorescent light can trigger various ailments, including migraines and epilepsy. Here is an article at the DailyMail (UK) dated January 2009 about this.
Toxic Exposure: Mercury in the new compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs require special cleanup and disposal procedures. See details in this article at the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) web site.
Similar legislation was passed in Europe and Canada. In British Columbia, Canada, stores are banned from restocking incandescent light bulbs in popular 75 and 100-watt sizes beginning in Jan 2011. As a result, according to the Vancouver Sun (article dated January 20, 2011) “Readers are furious at being told that they will not be able to buy the standard bulbs”. An article at TheLocal dated Dec 3, 2010 (German’s News in English), you will find an article stating “Consumer groups call for end to EU light bulb ban”
Representative Joe Barton (TX -6) has introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R.91 – Better Use Light Bulbs Act which would repeal amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act with respect to lighting energy efficiency. We recommend you contact your Representative in Congress and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 91.