American Elephants

Taking your Freedom Away, One Step at a Time! by The Elephant's Child

In just 5½ months, the 100 watt incandescent lightbulb will become illegal in the United States.  12 months later, 75 watt bulbs will become illegal, and 12 months after that, ordinary 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs will be illegal as well. Do most people know this?

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote:

The use of efficiency mandates to snuff out the standard light bulb was an exercise of unadulterated crony capitalism.  It came about after the big bulb manufacturers, frustrated by their customers’ refusal to switch from cheap throwaway incandescents to the far more profitable compact flourescents touted by Greens, decided to play hardball. 

Before Congress, a representative of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association testified in favor of the bulb ban scheme.  He said “the entire discussion of ‘phase out of least efficient general service light bulbs’ has been at the industry’s initiative.”

On the surface, the purpose of the law is to increase energy efficiency by requiring that bulbs produce more light per watt. By setting these standards higher than the cheap, easily replaceable, common incandescent, the real world effect is government control of the lights in your home. The real purpose is more profit for companies who make lightbulbs in China.

The normal process involves putting your product in the marketplace and if people like it, they will buy it. So they put their twisty compact fluorescents in the stores, and people didn’t like paying way more money for a bulb they didn’t like.So Phillips decided to partner with radical environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council to push for higher standards.  “We felt that we needed to …show that the best-known lighting technology, the incandescent lightbulb is at the end of its lifetime” said Harry Verhaar, the head of the company’s ‘strategic sustainability initiatives. You need to watch out when that word “sustainability” pops up. It’s a lie to begin with.

Liberals in Congress are claiming that they are “increasing consumer choice.” The Department of Energy has a Conservation Standards Enforcement division.  It has threatened companies like Delta Faucet, Hudson Reed, Maytag, Target and Westinghouse for attempting to sell products that consumers want. There were not dangerous products, they simply function too well.  So we now have washing machines that don’t clean clothes, Energy Star products that don’t save energy, showers that fail to deliver enough water for a comfortable shower, and a government that is attempting to do away with the internal-combustion engine.We need to eliminate the Department of Energy.

It is not a governmental task to make consumer’s choices for them. It is not up to a Secretary of Energy, nor to Congress.  If the technology is superior, and ready for prime time, no law is needed to get people to switch. People have switched from landlines to cell phones and from desktops to tablets, and are considering the switch from books to electronic readers without government help.  Congress is working on a repeal. We need to keep their feet to the fire.

We must always, always push in the direction of individual liberty. The totalitarian impulse is forever present, with the urgent need to tell other people what to do.

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