NRDC: Congress Going backward on Lightbulbs by Noah Horowitz

The Federal Government is at it again with reversing positive green lighting moves.  Ironically, the Republicans are leading the charge and with President George W Bush they instated these initiatives.  Seems backwards so I’ll let Noah take it from here!!

Source: NRDC’s energy program senior scientist Noah Horowitz

On Thursday March 10, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to consider a bill (S.395) introduced by Wyoming Republican Sen. Mike Enzi that would repeal efforts to expand the
use of more energy-efficient light bulbs and limit consumer choice to the same type of bulb that’s been left virtually unchanged since Thomas Edison helped invent it more than 125 years ago.

House Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas has introduced a companion bill (H.R. 91) and Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has sponsored similar legislation (H.R. 849) that is just as
backward-thinking.

The proposals from Enzi, Barton and Bachmann would roll back energy efficiency standards signed into law by President George W. Bush that are designed to increase the efficiency of light bulbs by at least 25
percent. New, more efficient light bulbs are already on the market – including advanced incandescent bulbs that look just like Edison’s invention – and better versions are coming out every day. The bills from
Enzi, Barton and Bachmann, however, would push aside innovation, derail plans for new job-creating lighting factories and eliminate an estimated $10 billion in annual energy costs savings – taking as much
as $200 per year out of the checkbooks of every U.S. household.

Going backward on light bulbs is obviously not a very bright idea.

We hope you’ll consider the following as you try to illuminate to your readers the truth about what’s happening.

IT’S ALL ABOUT CHOICE

Opponents to new energy efficient light bulb standards say the government wants to tell consumers which types of light bulbs they can use, limit their choices to swirly compact florescent lamp bulbs and
ban incandescents that have been a consumer staple for more than century.

That’s just not the case.

The new standards don’t force any type of bulb on consumers, and they don’t ban any type of bulb either.

Want to stick with incandescents? You still can – it’s just that new and improved incandescent bulbs will put out the same sort of light using 28 percent less energy than old-school bulbs. Current incandescent
waste about 90 percent of the energy they consume.

Want to save even more? Compact fluorescents that are now widely available will cut your energy costs by as much as 75 percent.

Maybe you’re an early adopter and want to use even brighter, more efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Those will cut energy bills by more than 75 percent and can last for 25 years.

Consumers already are adapting to better bulbs – and they like them. A February poll by USA Today found that nearly 3 out of 4 Americans have recently purchased new, more efficient light bulbs and 84
percent said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with them.

With the new standards, consumers get more choice, not less.

They’ll continue to get even more choices in the future as light bulb makers continue to innovate – as long as competition isn’t stifled by bills like those from Enzi, Barton and Bachmann.

SAVINGS – AND MORE SAVINGS

True, new efficient light bulbs cost a little more. The new incandescent bulb costs about $1.50, compared with 25-50 cents for outdated incandescents. CFLs run about $2 each, and new LEDs can cost
$10-$30 apiece. 

But any extra upfront costs for more efficient bulbs will be recouped many times over with more efficient bulbs. A CFL bulb, for instance, can save $30 to $50 in energy costs over its lifetime. LEDs can
save even more, since they can last up to 25 years.

And that’s just the beginning.

When fully implemented, the new light bulb standards are expected to reduce the nation’s power bill by $10 billion a year – an amount equal to the annual electricity bill of all the homes in Texas.

The savings don’t stop there. The new standards also will reduce the need to build as many as 30 new power plants and cut greenhouse gas pollution by 100 million tons – the equivalent of taking 17 million
cars off the road –  helping reduce health problems (and health costs) along the way.

WANT MORE INFORMATION?

For a fact sheet on the new light bulb standards please see http://www.nrdc.org/lightbulbs/

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Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.