The Republican House is flinching on passing the simplest and most symbolic piece of legislation this term: repeal of the incandescent light bulb phase out. Amidst great fanfare and promises to restore limited government, the new majority is proving it isn't much different than the old majority.
The incandescent phase out required under the so-called Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 starts with banning regular 100 watt light bulbs on Jan 1, 2012. 75 watters will be banned a year later. 60 watters fade in 2014.
Some of us still cling to a quaint notion that federal legislation ought to pass constitutional muster while fixing a problem serious enough to fix and do so while providing more benefits than the costs to implement. The light bulb ban fails to achieve all three:
1) it is unconstitutional (see my previous screed on this aspect);
2) is a solution without a problem; and
3) bears costs far in excess of any benefits.
The light bulb ban was inspired by environmental and energy conservation zealots spooked by the global warming lobby. And those economic rent-seeking players in the lighting industry who could benefit from legislated self-interest, were happy to join as co-conspirators. Those companies who were less enthused about the light bulb ban found resisting futile, in the end happy enough to delay the effective dates to allow for more orderly close down of factories and job eliminations.
So, what have learned since 2007? For starters, the global warming agenda has collapsed, polluted with data manipulation scandals. And where the data haven't been tainted by hyper-partisans, independent measurements are proving that global warming predictions are as useful as pre-season college football polls.
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