American Elephants

How Much Corruption Does it Take to Change the Light Bulb? by American Elephant
January 6, 2008, 5:48 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Energy, Politics | Tags: , ,

Compact Flourescent Light Bulb

As Timothy Carney reports, Democrats have passed a law outlawing the sale of all traditional incandescent light bulbs by 2012.

Sylvania is the leading light bulb maker worldwide, and GE is tops in America. These two companies, together with Dutch-based Royal Phillips Electronics, concede they basically wrote the new light bulb law. It goes without saying that they stand to profit from it — at consumer expense.

As reported previously in this column, the energy bill was loaded up with all sorts of favors for energy companies, manufacturers and other corporate bigwigs. The light bulb law follows the same pattern: A regulation touted as an environmental boon that will have dubious benefits to the planet, real costs to consumers and guaranteed profits for a handful of well-connected corporations.

…the day the bill cleared its biggest hurdle and passed the Senate, GE’s stock jumped 8.8 percent, and Philips jumped 2.1 percent.

The deal for Americans and the environment is not so sweet:

  • The bill increases energy costs for Americans. The cost of the new bulbs is far more than the energy savings.
  • GE, Phillips, and Sylvania will be making a lot more profit.
  • This bill guarantees the outsourcing of American jobs. (GE makes the outlawed bulbs here in the states, but all the new bulbs are made in China.)
  • Instead of being manufactured under America’s tight environmental and labor regulations, new bulbs will be made in China where environmental regulations are virtually unheard of, and then shipped halfway around the world.
  • Compact Fluorescents contain mercury which is an environmental hazard all by itself.
  • Mercury also poses a health risk and Medical studies are also blaming fluorescent bulbs for seizures and  numerous other health hazards.
  • Americans don’t want the new light bulbs! The light is harsh and unattractive, the bulbs must warm up before reaching full brightness, and they don’t work with dimmers.
  • The new bulbs have been on the market for years now and despite a great deal of positive press coverage, only account for around 2% of the light bulb market  — thus the need for Sylvania, GE and Phillips to get corrupt Democrats to force them on Americans.

Carney reports the energy bill was packed full of similar corrupt deals for other industry giants such as Alcoa, Goldman Sachs and Archer Daniels Midland.

This is the type of corrupt shenanigans going on behind most “environmental” legislation. I encourage you to read the entire piece. As well as his longer piece in the Wall Street Journal.

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