House Discusses Ban: CFLs "...all the Romance of a Soviet Stairwell..."

The Bulb Act.  HR 2417 

Rep Mike Doyle(D-PA)

  • TCP opening plant in US
  • GE invested $60M in US for fluorescent lamps 

Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

  • 2 wrongs don’t make a right.  Higher efficiency standards. American public says this doesn’t work and that the bulbs cost too much money.
  • All CFL made in China, they don’t work as well as they require more bulbs to get the same light. The CFLs are vulnerable to power surges; we hear this from our rural residents. In essence they don’t save any energy.
  • Even AFL CIO has a little bit on their web site.   “There are many ways to save electricity without shifting jobs to China.” 
  • Winchester, VA incandescent plant was shut down on 9/24/10.  Unanticipated consequences from 2007 ACT. Bad policy and we need to get it off our books.

Rep Edward Markey(D-MA):

  • CFLS save the need to construct 30 coal-fired plants.  
  • Shows Sylvania Halogen A-lamp  $1.69 lamp will save a lot of money
  • Every living descendent of Thomas Edison opposed this amendment.
  • In 1987, Markey authored the appliance efficiency act.  Refrigerators are 3 or 4 times more efficient because of the Appliance Act.

Rep Michael Burgess, (R-TX)

  • CFLs have “….all of the Romance of a Soviet Stairwell…”
  • I should be able to choose what wavelength of light.  We don’t look as good.  My chairman suffers from Spectrum Fatigue and doesn’t look as good. 

Rep Rush Holt (D-NJ)

  • Throw away 90% of the energ  of a light bulb.  
  • We get 100 watts worth of light for 72 watts for $1.49 for a pair

Rep Ted Poe (R-TX): 

  • Fed government is creating a monopoly.   The issue is should federal government mandate a monopoly?
  • CFL’s are dangerous to our health.  French scientist discovered they may cause blindness in Children. German Scientist that they may cause cancer.  Isn’t that lovely? 
  • Let the consumer decide.  EPA warns in their 1000 word how dangerous they are.  So we are after passing this legislation that these aren’t the greatest thing. CFL not a brighter idea.

Jason Altmire (D-PA).  My colleagues continue to fantasize that the incandescent bulb is banned. It is not banned. Bulbs that meet the standard are on the market.  Same look, same light.   Their rhetoric bears no fact in reality. 

Rep Henry Waxman (D-CA)  How did they get this on the floor today? We d did not have a single hearing.  This amendment would ban state standards as well.  Should have cleaned up the drafting of the bill to clean up fluorescent lighting.  This amendment will undermine job growth and strand assets that have been made to build the new bulbs. The bill is absolutely unnecessary.

There are many organizations against this amendment:

  • NEMA
  • American Lighting Association
  • PG&E
  • Philips
  • Unites Steel Workers
  • Alliance to Save Energy

Rep Joe Barton (R-TX)

  • Call a spade a spade. It is true that it does not automatically ban incandescent.  But it does set standards that effectively ban the 100 and the 60, watt.
  • The industry has developed new lamps that meet the new standard, but my friends fail to mention is the cost.  I am not opposed to CFL or the new incandescent. I am opposed to tell my constituents to pay $1.50 for a incandescent or $6 for a CFL, or $49 for a new LED.  I remember when you rent an apartment and all the bulbs are gone.  If you replace 40 bulbs and have to pay $6 that is some real money.  Why take the low end of the market off the market? 
  • If you are Al Gore and want to spend $10 per bulb, more power to you, but if you are a young family, let them spend $0.25 or $0.375.  Let people make their own choices.
  • It is true that they are more efficient, but if it takes 10 years to get them to pay for themselves and you have to leave them on all of the time to get the energy savings….  If you use it like a traditional consumer, you will spend twenty cents per week.   The new lamps will save $40 over the life, if you use it 10 years.   If they are as good as they claim, then the consumer will want to buy them.