Light-bulb grabbers at it again

New labels and mandates an example of nanny-state excess

The Washington Times

In the midst of an economic crisis, troubles in Afghanistan and various terrorist threats around the globe, the last thing on the minds of Americans is the light bulb. That didn’t stop the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this month from releasing 91 pages of regulations that will force manufacturers to revise their packaging and make costly compact fluorescent bulbs appear more appealing to consumers.

Congress ordered these changes in 2007 as part of its decision to force the dim, overpriced, mercury-filled product on a public that so far has refused to embrace it willingly. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, bureaucratic rules will phase in, and 100-watt versions of Thomas Edison’s venerable invention will be first on the contraband list. Sylvania, the largest light-bulb company in North America, found in a telephone survey last year that three-quarters of Americans have no idea that Congress is coming for their light bulbs. If you like a safe, warm glow with your lighting, now would be a good time to start stocking up on incandescents.

Congress wants to force the pale, cold fluorescent curlicue fixtures on everyone because it makes members feel that they are doing their part to “save the planet.” Fluorescent bulbs certainly are more efficient, and they do use less power. They make sense in many applications, particularly in workplace environments. The FTC’s new labels dethrone the watt as the primary measure of a bulb’s effectiveness and replace it with the lumen as a measure of light output. For the most part, industry supports the change. It’s happy to sell you any type of bulb.

The op-ed continues at The Washington Times.

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