By Kathleen Rogers
In a close vote, the House recently passed a provision that undercuts one of the most successful environmental programs of the decade – one that requires all bulbs -- including the incandescent -- to achieve higher efficiency levels. The amendment, which was tacked on to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2012, delays a ban on sales of incandescent bulbs for nine months - from Jan. 1 until the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, 2012 – turning off the lights on this successful program.
The legislation, if passed by the Senate, will repeal one of those “inside the beltway” success stories that seems near impossible these days--legislation that was drafted with the help of light-bulb manufacturing giants, Philips, General Electric and Sylvania, and with the support of a coalition of efficiency and environmental organizations, including my own, passed by a bipartisan majority of the House and Senate and signed into law in 2007 by Republican President George W. Bush. More unusual was the fact that California and Nevada, then under leadership of Republican governors, swallowed hard and gave up their own state lighting-efficiency legislation, which had faster timetables. They did so because they were persuaded by all of us that creating a single regulatory light-bulb standard for the whole country would support innovation; would help the United States maintain its market share of production; save American households money; create new jobs; and would give industry what it craves much more than the anti-regulatory crowd would have you believe. It seems fair to use the term “dim bulb” to describe those members of Congress who voted to turn back the clock.
It's up to the Senate to rectify this wrong.
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