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“Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act” April 1, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Environment, Future, Politics, Pollution, Science, Technology.


Even though it’s April Fools’ Day, this is no joke.  Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann introduced H.R. 5616, the “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act,”

To provide for the repeal of the phase out of incandescent light bulbs unless the Comptroller General makes certain specific findings.”

Those findings are that:

  1.  Consumers will save money on the combination of electric bills and expenses for new fixures.
  2. Overall carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 20% in the US by 2025.
  3. The phase-out will not pose any health risks, including those associated with mercury containment in certain light bulbs.

This coming about two weeks before the Bush Administration appealed a federal court’s decision throwing out an EPA regulation to control mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.  They argued that the ruling requires EPA to set “inappropriate and unnecessary emission standards for power plants.”

So, mercury may not be okay in certain light bulbs, but it’s okay in coal-fired power plants?  And, what about mercury in dental fillings?  Hell, we’re Americans, and we can damn well choose what type of light bulbs we want, what sort of fillings we get, and what type of big ass cars we drive!

Note: I don’t like it when science gets distorted by politics on either side of the spectrum.  /off soap box



1. Carole Cohen - April 1, 2008

You know, I watched a story about the new light bulbs breaking and mercury spilling and while they tried to create issues at the beginning of the story (this was on WKYC), by the end the experts said it would take over 100 light bulbs to break before you would even get close to too much mercury. Distorted is right!

I remember as a kid getting mercury somehow through my parents and taking coins and making them all shiny by dipping them ….and I’m okay! …..well ok so that’s up for discussion 🙂

2. davegoblog - April 8, 2008

Like you said, the amount of mercury in the light bulbs is almost negligible if one were to break. As these bulbs more prevalent, then there were be many more places to recycle them.

Also, think of all the poison chemicals under your sink or in the garage that toxic and potentially fatal.

3. Trishah - April 25, 2008

For me it is a health concern. As a person who can not work in fluorescent lighting I think it’s terribly unfair for my government to pass legislature that will make it even MORE difficult for me to get compensation for my disability in the workplace. Also, it will force me to stockpile a lite times worth of incandescents or be forced to buy “black market” bulbs.

There are plenty of ways to save energy without impinging on my health.

Also, where are most of the fluorescent bulbs we use in the US manufactured? China. As a matter of fact, I can’t find one company the manufactures fluorescent bulbs in the United States (http://www.exportbureau.com/electrical/lightsfluorescent.html) And with their lack-luster environmental record must essentially wipe out any good the bulbs do.


4. tracking2008 - April 27, 2008

Trishah is going around as a lobbyist for the Dim Bulb Coalition – people who favor wasteful light bulbs, and copying and pasting the above message.

It’s lobbyist spam.

The truth is that there is a law to protect people who aren’t lobbyists, but have genuine medical reasons not to work with fluorescent light.

It’s called the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Don’t believe the lobbyist hype. Read it and weep, Michelle Bachman: The Dim Bulb Caucus in Congress And Disabilities

5. Trishah - May 2, 2008


I am a real person with a real medical condition and have even lost a job because they stopped accommodating my disability. I had built a “roof” of umbrellas over my cubical in the old offices but when we moved to a larger building they wouldn’t let me build another one… EVEN WITH THE DISABILITIES ACT! They ran me around in circles taking me months of doctors appointments. Drove me onto Workman’s Comp and then fired me on a technicality. EVEN WITH THE DISABILITIES ACT!

Now this forced fluorescents will be just one more hurdle for me and others to cross.

I am no fan of Ms. Bachmann and her bill is not what I would write if I were to write one. What I really want is to have HR6 have a clause that exempts people with light related disabilities. But until that happens then I will support any bill that limits forced fluorescents.

6. Kris - April 24, 2009

Trishah, the reason all you can find for suppliers of flourescent bulbs is China is because Congress gave them a monopoly: check this link-http://lookinferlearnin.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/congress-gives-china-monopoly-on-new-light-bulbs/
I’d way tracking2008 is the dim bulb. He/she can’t think for him/herself. If so, he/she would know this whole environmental chicken little scam is bull sh*t. I pity tracking2008. This person must WANT to live in a totalitarian state.

7. Kris - April 24, 2009

TYPO- I’d SAY tracking2008 is the dim bulb.

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