Light bulb factory closes; End of era for U.S. means more jobs overseas

Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post

WINCHESTER, VA. – The last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month, marking a small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison’s innovations in the 1870s.

The remaining 200 workers at the plant here will lose their jobs.

“Now what’re we going to do?” said Toby Savolainen, 49, who like many others worked for decades at the factory, making bulbs now deemed wasteful.

During the recession, political and business leaders have held out the promise that American advances, particularly in green technology, might stem the decades-long decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. But as the lighting industry shows, even when the government pushes companies toward environmental innovations and Americans come up with them, the manufacture of the next generation technology can still end up overseas.

What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.

The article continues at the Washington Post.

Read also:
Moonbattery, “What to do with dead compact fluorescents”

…What to do with the old [cfl] bulbs, since they’re too toxic to throw in the trash? Could they charge you with terrorism if you mail them to your representative in Congress?

* * *

RedState, with video, “Save the Light Bulb”:

Dear John Boehner, Ted Poe, and Members of the incoming 112th Congress,

If you do only one thing in your time in Washington, and frankly I hope you do only one thing given your propensity to expand government (other than eradicating Obamacare), it is this: SAVE THE LIGHT BULB.

People may not realize it, but one of the first acts of the Democratic Congress in 2007, was to ban the light bulb effective in 2014.


Update: At Legal Insurrection Professor Jacobson writes, “Watch for it–the Mexican incandescent light bulb cartel”

Update 2: At, “The stupidity of politics: Green fables, jobs, and the incandescent bulb”

Update 3: American Thinker, “Dim-Bulb Dems Doom Edison’s Baby”:

…Let us note that General Electric has been in Barack Obama’s corner from day one and has positioned itself to be a prime beneficiary of the massive green scheming of America that Obama and his allies in Congress are perpetrating across our nation (via taxpayer money, subsidies, loans, mandates, rules, and regulations — an EPA in overdrive). And Obama deserves a chunk of the blame:

General Electric jumped on board the CFL bandwagon — and threw its workers off it without a ticket to get back on. American unions and government rules just did not make it feasible (i.e., profitable) to manufacture CFLs in America. Now most are made by Chinese companies, to which we are sending our green dollars in more ways than one.

Obama is driving jobs overseas. The overt and covert pro-union policies he is jamming through a Democratic Congress and through the executive branch through executive orders, personnel choices, and selective enforcement and interpretation of laws are making factory jobs a thing of the past in America…

Comments are closed.