Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saying goodbye to an old friend

The Washington Times reported, the incandescent light-bulb ban, which goes into effect in March, is another example of excessive government oversight. The bulbs aren’t officially banned, just artificially obsolete. As part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Congress mandated that light bulbs have 25 percent greater efficiency, phased in starting in 2012 and continuing until 2014. The law also includes a slew of mandates on appliances and energy use in federal buildings.

A 310-page masterpiece of micromanagement, the law was promoted heavily by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Democrat, and signed by President George W. Bush. The bill was driven by a consortium of manufacturers that stand to profit from forcing people to buy more expensive bulbs and fixtures, plus the environmental lobby, which likes to pretend government regulations can lower the planet’s temperature.

Part of the resistance to the CFL bulbs, most of which are made in China, stems from the fact that they contain mercury. The Environmental Protection Agency had to create a suggested regimen to deal with the extreme hazard of broken fluorescents. The first step is to have people and pets leave the room, which then must be aired out for five to 10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment. Next, any central-air heating or air-conditioning system must be shut down. Homeowners then must collect materials needed to clean up the broken bulb. EPA warns, “Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.” There’s much more, including recycling directions. A shattered incandescent bulb, by contrast, can just be tossed in a garbage bin without triggering an environmental calamity.

So here we go say good bye to our old reliable, inexpensive, and safe incandescent light bulbs. Saying good bye to one of the few American made products we had left and once again making us dependent, to countries like China, for something as simple as a light bulb. Of course it's not like our lawmakers in Washington have any really pressing matters to attend to right?  Just remember in the future practice your  new suggested regimen to deal with the extreme hazard of broken fluorescents, boy howdy!

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