American Elephants


South Carolina Lawmakers Don’t Like CFL Bulbs Either. by The Elephant's Child

Environmental activists and energy efficiency enthusiasts simply have no understanding about how angry the American people are about the intrusion of their long green noses into people’s own homes.

Lawmakers in South Carolina are taking a stand. With incandescent bulbs being phased out under federal law in favor of compact fluorescents, legislators want to exempt South Carolina from the measure, saying that Washington has no business telling the state how to light its homes, closets and countertops.

The South Carolina House will begin debating a bill that would allow companies to manufacture incandescent bulbs in South Carolina as long as they stamp them “Made in South Carolina” and sell them only in the state.  Texas, Georgia and Minnesota have considered sticking with incandescent bulbs, but have not passed laws regarding the bulbs. South Carolina currently has a small incandescent light bulb plant.

The demand for the efficiency of CFL bulbs fits right in with an energy-starved economy dependent on alternate “green” sources of power.  With centuries of clean natural gas available at low cost (shale gas) the environmental case is beginning to fall apart. Not that it was ever an environmental deal. The Electric companies— GE, Phillips and Sylvania— essentially wrote the federal law, and expect to make way more profit on CFL bulbs from China.

CFL bulbs are far more expensive, and alternates to those are even costlier.   CFLs are not allowed to be placed in the garbage, but must be taken to a proper disposal site, many of which charge for the privilege.  There have been reports of CFLs exploding.  Studies have shown that the energy savings are 73% less than expected, and even subsidies didn’t encourage as many people to buy them as expected.  They don’t last as long as expected, and turning them on and off seems to shorten their lives.

When a good substitute that offers good light at a reasonable price comes to market, consumers will adapt. But these are not things that should be forced upon the public at the whim of the Barbara Boxers in the Senate. It’s not the business of Congress.

Contrary to Democrat’s expectations, American consumers are quite capable of making their own choices without the government forcing choices upon them.


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Environmental activists and energy efficiency enthusiasts are the American people as well, and many of the most respected in the field of environmental science are against CFL bulbs and especially making them mandatory.

Most people that prioritize the environment aren’t too fond of pushing mandatory products that contain hazardous materials (CFLs) that will be thrown in the trash and wind up in landfills, leaking into ground water.

And that’s what will happen. Because recycling them isn’t mandatory in most places, even if it says they should NOT be thrown away on all the lightbulb packaging. The infrastructure simply isn’t in place to deal with them. Most people have no place they can take them to be recycled, and the recycling is costly enough that it simply isn’t an option for some people. It’s also an inconvenience.

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Comment by Lasciel




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