Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Inefficient Lighting

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/2665936868/">Muffet</a>/Flickr

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Blue Marble readers are no strangers to the multi-year war on efficient lighting undertaken by congressional Republicans. In the name of freedom, they have tirelessly campaigned to overturn a 2007 law, despite the fact that it didn’t actually ban incandescent bulbs—it merely required all bulbs to use less energy. Well, last week Republicans succeeded in delaying the new law from going into effect until next October, ten months later than it would have otherwise.

But here’s the kicker. Despite all the outrage generated by the GOP about how the bulb law is destroying American business, motherhood, and apple pie, the lighting industry is actually all for it. And manufacturers are annoyed that the law has been delayed, as Politico reports today:

Big companies like General Electric, Philips and Osram Sylvania spent big bucks preparing for the standards, and the industry is fuming over the GOP bid to undercut them.

After spending four years and millions of dollars prepping for the new rules, businesses say pulling the plug now could cost them. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association has waged a lobbying campaign for more than a year to persuade the GOP to abandon the effort.

Manufacturers are worried that the rider will undermine companies’ investments and “allow potential bad actors to sell inefficient light bulbs in the United States without any fear of federal enforcement,” said Kyle Pitsor, the trade group’s vice president of government relations.

It’s funny. The only time the GOP seems dedicated to “freedom of choice” is when it involves lighting products.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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