The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed into law — oddly enough — in late December of 2007. By then-President George W. Bush. The law was designed “to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes.” It has many parts, many of which were to take place over the course of the next several years.
One of those parts was to outlaw the manufacturing and importing of incandescent light bulbs in the United States (via the requirement that bulbs be 25% more efficient, which is very difficult with Edison’s incandescent bulb), to be complete by 2014. Landscape and stage lighting were exempt, as were those 150 W (most household bulbs are 60-120 W). It requires 200% greater efficiency or similar savings by 2020.
It perhaps bears mentioning that other countries already have laws like this that effectively outlaw incandescent bulbs. In fact, I was in a museum in Tasmania a few weeks ago with an incandescent bulb display (something about heartbeats) that had, as part of its description, a statement that the bulbs were illegal to make in Australia and those had to be imported from China.
This kind of government mandate is the kind of thing that WND lives for, and two weeks before 2014, they copied over the FOX “news” story they headlined, “Jan. 1: No More Incandescent Light Bulbs.” With 6 ratings (4.2/5 stars) but 77 comments, the story had a reasonable reach, I think. Or, at least engagement.
“rbruce62” has the top-rated comment: “Outlaw American made incandescents and mandate poisonous bulbs, manufactured only in China because of our environmental regulations, that cannot be disposed of normally due to those same regulations.. This is a fail on so many levels I don’t know which to criticize first…” The “fail” is on his part because he is thinking only of CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) which have mercury vapor. Other fluorescent lights and LEDs – which are more energy efficient and much longer lasting – are not “poisonous.” And from what I can tell, all types are manufactured in the US (though of course not exclusively). Still, he got 19 up-votes and 0 down.
Numerous other comments played the poison card and how “liberals have no problem with highly toxic light bulbs” (via “Julian McGrath”). That’s kinda like me claiming that seafood lovers have no problem with highly toxic fish (since tuna contains relatively large amounts of mercury, and blowfish can be poisonous if not prepared correctly … ignoring, of course, all other types of seafood).
Others had the fun logical fallacy of argument from antiquity: “We can’t even be trusted to light our houses evidently. Why are incandescent light bulbs such a big deal? We’ve been using for 120 years I think? Maybe more?” (via “Jon Hammett”).
They reminded readers of this in a follow-up article on December 27, “5 Shopping Days Left … for Light Bulbs!” In another follow-up article on January 16, 2014 (“Congress to Resurrect Incandescent Light Bulb?“), again copied from FOX “news,” WND notes that the omnibus spending bill that was being debated in Congress at the time contained a small bit of text to repeal that lighting requirement. And, from what I remember, that language remained in the bill that President Obama did sign a few days ago. So much for doing our part.