Posted by: The Paris Apartment | June 13, 2011

Keep the Bill Alive!

Please support this bill to BAN the BAN on the innocent light bulb. The world is not ready to handle recycling 100s of millions of CFL bulbs  world wide. If not recycled, each will contaminate 6000 gallons of groundwater.  Please show your support here:

Light Bulb Repeal Bill Stalls in Congress

A bill to repeal the banning of ordinary incandescent light bulbs is bottled up in a congressional committee despite Americans’ apparent distaste for the more expensive bulbs that would replace them.

The 100-watt incandescent bulb is scheduled to be outlawed in January 2012, the 75-watt bulb will disappear in January 2013, and the 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs in January 2014.

The bill banning the bulbs — which use more energy than newer bulbs — was introduced in 2007 by then Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat, and Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, and signed by President George W. Bush in December 2007.

Upton is now chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and while lobbying Republicans for the post he vowed to repeal the section of the 2007 bill that bans incandescent bulbs.

“We have heard the grass roots loud and clear, and will have a hearing early next Congress,” he said in December. “The last thing we wanted to do was infringe upon personal liberties, and this has been a good lesson that Congress does not always know best.”

In January, Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton proposed the Better Use of Light Bulb (BULB) act, which would cancel the phase-out of incandescent bulbs. The bill has 62 co-sponsors, 61 of them Republicans, and a companion bill in the Senate has 28 co-sponsors.

But Upton’s committee has not yet held a hearing on the bill, and “House Republican leadership has evinced no interest in bringing the Barton bill to the floor,” Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, writes in RealClearMarkets. “Calls to repeal the incandescent light bulb ban are coming from consumers, who prefer incandescent lamps.”

“Chairman Upton,” she adds, “how about voting Mr. Barton’s bill out of committee and sending it to the House floor?”

Once incandescent bulbs vanish, Americans will have to purchase either compact fluorescent bulbs — known as CFLs — halogens, or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

All three cost significantly more than incandescent bulbs, although they last longer. Many people don’t like the light cast by CFLs — the cheapest of the three — and they must be disposed of at special recycling centers because they contain mercury. They also pose a danger if broken in the home.

Another factor to consider: Incandescent bulbs are made in the United States, while almost all CFLs are made in China, according to Furchtgott-Roth.

She concludes: “Consumers should be free, in my opinion, to choose the light bulbs they prefer. If Congress believes that consumers should conserve energy, it can impose a tax on the model bulbs whose use it would discourage, or on electricity in general.”


  1. Good at least to see Texas passed the local repeal ban law over the weekend
    Gov. Perry signs the Repeal Bill into law
    Updates on US State Bills:

    CANADA: **JUNE 30 LAST DAY** to comment on Government proposal to delay ban by 2 years
    Open for anyone, not just Canadians, it would clearly impact on USA and send a signal also to other countries
    Scroll to bottom to see contact info re John Cockburn

  2. Yes a lot of efforts seem to be stalling…
    At least Texas Gov. Perry signed the local Bill on 17th June allowing incandescent manufacture and sale in that state
    Updates on other current US State repeal ban Bills

  3. Hi there! I just came over from The Paris Apartment and am so glad! My roommate replaced all of the bulbs in our house with the stupid CFL bulbs and I shrieked! I’m going to forward your link to everybody I can think of!
    Ps. I think you are a total maniac for devoting a whole blog to this topic. Kudos to you!!

  4. …and freedom state philadelphia is the latest state to seek local lightbulb freedom 😉
    Updates on all current state repeal bills, and Canada government
    2 year delay proposal

    • er… Philadelphia in Pennsylvania ‘state’ of course!

  5. peterdub = lighthouse

  6. Please look up actual data.

    8,000 hours of use of an incandescent results in 5.5 mg of mercury in the atmosphere. A CFL causes less, not more (1.6). Most of THAT mercury is from coal, not from the bulb itself. If you toss a cell phone, broken digital camera, other electronics, you are tossing mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead, flame retardants.

    Incandescents cause MORE mercury, because we burn coal. CFLs cause LESS mercury. This is because incandescents result in a great deal of heat, measurably, by the way, increasing the amount of time your AC runs.

  7. All electronics contain cancer-causing chemicals. Lawn sprays contain them. Coal plant emissions REALLY contain them. If you’re fighting CFLs because of mercury, you must also fight coal plants, all use of coal.

    • This idea of
      “Incandescent induced Coal emission mercury worse than CFL related mercury”
      keeps doing the rounds, 2 wrongs don’t make a right anyway,
      but even EPA is moving away from that supposition, with new emission
      regulation oversight under Lisa Jackson
      It was never true anyway (​ = see the references)

  8. I’m a big fan of incandescent light bulbs. I am slowly buying up as many as I can. I have banned CFL’s from my home. Love this blog, Claudia;

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