Time running out to choose the light bulb you prefer

Remember liberty?

When Republicans took back control of the House in 2010 they were able to push back the default ban on incandescent light bulbs, but it was too little too late. Soon you won’t be able to buy them.

The free market operates by offering incentives to consumers to change their behavior. Cutting prices, advertising and developing new products redirect the public’s impulses in a natural, painless way. The government, on the other hand, has no passion or patience for this sort of thing.

Words like “must,” “shall,” and “mandate” pepper the texts of laws like Obamacare. The incandescent light-bulb ban, which goes into effect in March, is another case in point. 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.

Alarmed at the prospect of being forced by law to purchase expensive, squiggly compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs instead of cheap, warm incandescent bulbs, Americans complained loudly. In the face of a popular revolt, Congress pushed the start date back to October 2012 and defunded enforcement of efficiency standards as part of the 2012 and 2013 appropriations bills.

However, seeing the writing on the wall, manufacturers began phasing out incandescents. The last major General Electric factory that made them closed in Winchester, Va., in September 2010, putting 200 people out of work. One hundred-watt bulbs are already gone in some stores. (Read More)

This is just a small example of what happens when we elect buffoons who think they know better than us, or the free market, or the Founders.

 

It has come to this

A light bulb

Image via Wikipedia

My home state of Texas has to pass a law protecting our right to buy the light bulbs we choose

Texans have revived their independent streak and passed HR 2510. The bill  returns commonsense to the world of light bulbs, despite establishment opposition.

The bill allows incandescent light bulbs made in Texas to be sold within the state, working around President George W. Bush’s 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The 2007 act would prevent the manufacture and sale of traditional 100 watt incandescent bulbs because they do not meet the new efficiency standards.  HB 2510 reestablishes Texans’ rights to manufacture traditional light bulbs and sell them within the state of Texas.  The bill stipulates that the light bulbs must have “Made in Texas” clearly stamped onto them, and requires the Lone Star State’s Attorney General to defend a Texan if he is prosecuted by the federal government for a supposed infraction of the Intestate Commerce Clause.  

Texas, by passing HB 2510, is upholding its citizens’ Constitutional rights. The federal government lacks the authority to apply the Energy Security and Independence bill’s efficiency regulations to light bulbs made and sold exclusively in Texas, as they do not cross state lines and therefore cannot be regulated through the interstate commerce clause. The Constitution has not given the federal government the right to regulate light bulbs made and sold within Texas, so according to the 10th Amendment, it cannot legally do so. The 9th Amendment further strengthens the bill because although the right to make and sell light bulbs in Texas is not specifically in the Constitution, the United States government does not have the right to prevent it.

What would our Founders say? What would their reaction to this be? I would imagine they would be aghast that we have fallen so far from our principles as a nation. We are losing our liberties left and right