Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act

The “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act” is the name given a bill introduced in Congress by Rep Michelle Bachman of Minnesota.  This bill seeks to repeal the nationwide phase-out of the incandescent light bulb.  The most recent energy bill passed by Congress, which was signed into law by President Bush, mandates a phase-in of energy saving bulbs starting in 2012.

Arguments for and against incandescent/florescent bulbs are abundant.  The florescent is more expensive than the older bulb.  You can’t use a dimmer for the florescent bulb.  The florescent bulb lasts longer which makes up for the difference in price (my experience with the new bulb is that this is not exactly true.  I’ve had to replace them at about the same rate as the old bulbs and can’t just throw them in the trash).  The older bulb causes more of a carbon dioxide problem (this is apparently because it takes more energy to burn).  The new bulbs contain mercury which is an environmental and health problem in itself.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlines a series of steps that homeowners should take to clean up broken fluorescent lights: Open windows, use rubber gloves, dispose of all material in sealed bags and remove it to a hazardous waste facility.

My concern is the high-mindedness of our elected officials.  It is not enough that they have bought into the lobbyist’s demands without any requirement of scientific proof that there will be significant saving of the planet.  This is just another small step of the government trying to run our lives and make our decisions for us.  I would suggest that Congress get more information from both viewpoints before passing this type of legislation.  I would further suggest that both sides should simply give their views and make their arguments and then let the people decide which light bulb is best for them…unless that is too much like capitalism!

I am proud to say that my Congressman is a co-sponsor of this bill.  I urge you to write or call your Representative and Senators to request their support of this bill as well.

The bill is here for your viewing:

Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act (Introduced in House)

HR 5616 IH


2d Session

H. R. 5616

To provide for the repeal of the phase out of incandescent light bulbs unless the Comptroller General makes certain specific findings.


March 13, 2008

Mrs. BACHMANN (for herself, Mr. DAVID DAVIS of Tennessee, Mrs. BLACKBURN, Mr. SMITH of Nebraska, Mrs. CUBIN, Mr. GOODE, Mr. FEENEY, Mrs. DRAKE, Mr. WALBERG, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. WELDON of Florida, and Mr. SHADEGG) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To provide for the repeal of the phase out of incandescent light bulbs unless the Comptroller General makes certain specific findings.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act’ .


(a) In General- Effective 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act , sections 321 and 322, and the items in the table of contents relating thereto, of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 are repealed, unless the Comptroller General has before that time transmitted to the Congress a report containing all of the findings described in section 3(a).

(b) Reversion- If a repeal occurs under subsection (a), the amendments made by sections 321 and 322 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 are hereby repealed, and the laws amended thereby shall read as if those amendments had not been enacted.


(a) Findings- A report referred to in section 2(a) is a report that finds that–

(1) consumers will obtain a net savings, in terms of dollars spent on the combination of monthly electric bills and expenses for new light fixtures to accommodate the use of the light bulbs required by the amendments described in section 2(a), compared to dollars spent before the enactment of those amendments;

(2) the phase-out required by those amendments will reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent in the United States by the year 2025; and

(3) such phase-out will not pose any health risks, including risks associated with mercury containment in certain light bulbs, to consumers or the general public, including health risks with respect to hospitals, schools, day care centers, mental health facilities, and nursing homes.

(b) Projections- The report shall include monthly and yearly projections of expenses described in subsection (a)(1) over the period of January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2017.


4 thoughts on “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act

  1. I believe the market should determine which bulbs are cost efficient for us, not congress.
    There are many other uses for I.B.’s. In fact they may a very effect source for heat. McDonald’s use these bulbs to keep their fries warm. This one act of congress could drive up food cost at you favorite restaurant.

  2. The legislation that made incancescent light bulbs illegal is a violation of our Constitution, clear and simple. It’s just the beginning of the Obamagreens taking over our lives, because they think we aren’t smart enough or selfless enough-you know, like THEM.

  3. I’ve heard also that Congress contracted with CHINA to manufacture the CFLs. All the ones I’ve seen have been made in China. What about Americans that are out of work? I also heard, but haven’t researched, that the Chinese workers making our CFLs are getting sick from the mercury. They are very ambitious workers, because they are being given a chance to catch up with the western world in their standard of living, so they’re eager to work over-time.
    I’d like to just say Obama should be ashamed of himself, but I know the truth is that he’s evil, and surrounds himself with other evil “advisers” and czars. I never thought I’d see a time like this. I only hope we can reverse it.

  4. One or two more things. I left the reason the Chinese are getting sick hanging: they work so much over-time, they are over-exposed to mercury. And Chinese authorities don’t care, I’m sure.
    Actually, the legislation on the incandescent bulbs was passed in 2007, I believe, while Bush was still President. But Congress was owned by the Democrats! I don’t know if Bush vetoed it, and Congress over-rode the veto, or it was buried in a feel-good bill that no one would vote down, or what happened, but I still blame the left. That was only the beginning of the push to control us.

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