A new attack on the ban on incandescent light bulbs – the one that isn’t actually a ban – didn’t get very far. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), U.S. House Representative Todd Akin (R-Mo.) recently withdrew an amendment that would have denied funding for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to carry out new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs set to begin going into effect in 2012.
Akin’s amendment was to the continuing resolution needed to keep the government functioning. When he filed it, the NRDC issued a press release hitting the congressman for “clinging to 19th century technologies,” and called on Congress to “embrace a clean energy future that spurs innovation and creates jobs.”
The standards, passed in 2007 and signed into law by President George W. Bush, are often referred to as a ban on incandescent bulbs by Tea Party and other conservative activists who see them as an excessive government intrusion. But as the NRDC points out, no technologies are actually banned under the standards.
Instead, according to the DOE, the law requires that light bulbs use 30 percent less energy while producing the same light output. The standards hit 100-watt bulbs in 2012, 75-watt bulbs in 2013 and 40- and 60-watt bulbs in 2014, although California has moved ahead on the 100-watt bulb standard this year.
Earlier in this session of Congress, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would overturn the new standards, and argued his case in an opinion piece in USA Today.