Light Bulb Ban Bill Burns Out In Congress

H.R. 2417, the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (BULB), burnt out Tuesday as the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass the measure despite fierce support from the GOP and conservatives. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, would have repealed energy efficiency standards for light bulbs as a way to counter what some feel was big government coming down on the little guy on American streets.

The bill, which drew much fire from environmental organizations like NRDC and also the White House, did technically muster enough votes to pass on a simple vote – 233 to 193 – but because of being brought up under a process called suspension failed to get the two-third super majority needed to pass. Barton, despite being disappointed by its failure, noted that “the issue is too important to let it go away. If we don’t repeal this de facto ban before January, the power will be cut to the traditional, affordable, reliable incandescent light bulb and Americans will have to fork over at minimum five times more to buy bulbs for their homes.”


image via Shutterstock

Originally incorrectly pegged as an outright ban on incandescent light bulbs, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu took time out to point out the fact that one will still be able to “buy energy-saving halogen incandescent bulbs that look exactly the same as the ones you’re used to, and more than pay for themselves over the life of the 100 watt replacement bulb.” It was his belief hat such more energy efficient bulbs would also help lower electrical costs for average consumers.

On a national level, it is said, consumers will save $6 billion in year from the new light bulb standards. As for the lighting industry sector, many called for the bill to not be passed.

Barton, part of a growing movement of conservatives trying to counter what it believes is an example of something the government should keep its nose out of, seemed unswayed by such logical arguments. His final statement to the fact said “it is the perfect symbol of government over regulation and that is why we will continue to look for avenues to bring this bill up and ultimately repeal the de facto ban on traditional light bulbs.”

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply July 13, 2011


    The problem with the energy efficient bulbs is that they contain mercury and other harmful chemicals, so if the bulb breaks you literally are advised to evacuate the room for 15 minutes and then use gloves and a mask to pick it up. Plus there is research that may suggests that some people do not fair well around these lights.

  • Reply July 13, 2011


    1. It is a BAN: nAll known – and New Incandescents – will effectively be banned before 2020 at the latest,see the 2007 Energy Act Second Phase:45 lumen per watt minimum specification, which no incandescent can meet, and which the profit-seeking CFL-pushing manufacturers behind the ban would be unlikely to pursue anyway.nThe supposed amount of ENERGY savings are also not there(only c2% grid electricity savings, see the DOE etc data ),and even they were,there are much better and more relevant energy savings in Electricity Generation and Grid Distribution as well as Consumption, as described on the website.

  • Reply July 14, 2011


    They want us all to continue to live in darkness with them, but I will follow the light of the world, and as long as I have the right to my free speech, I can dissent 😉 The new outlaws will be selling these lightbulbs on the black market, even the dimmest lightbulb can see this! Wake up and turn on the lights! This little light of mineu2026I’m gonna let it shine!nnThe boogieman used to be a monster lurking in the shadows, waiting to jumpout and grab you. Now the boogieman is hiding in the shadows of Washington, lurking and encroaching, step by step into our lives each day! They continue gnashing at the mouth, stumbling in the darkness. Our government seems to think that they alone possess all the power, magnicence, and glory. Their personalities and power cast a shadow across our nation and the world. Washington DC, a city set on Capital Hill, cannot be hidden. The wiseman knows their is a greater power at work than the power we see exerted in this world. Things which are a mere shadow of what is to come, and the substance belongs to Christ, as God’s power overshadows everything!Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow! Always remember that Only the shadow knows! BWAHAHAHA

  • Reply July 16, 2011


    I can’t see how the ‘new’ bulbs are good – I need a lot of light to see; as in read, sew, close things like that. u00a0 u00a0I don’t want to call a HAZMAT team if I break one. u00a0 u00a0u00a0nWe have our government telling us to not use salt, came up with a new food chart – is this a government for, by and of the people or just a few bigwigs telling the rest of us what to do?

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