Friday, September 10, 2010

Congress! Give me back my lightbulbs!

When the Republicans hopefully take back Congress in November (and the presidency in 2012), many conservatives, Tea Partiers, and sane citizens in general have already made it clear that they plan to gauge the fortitude and effectiveness of the Republican majority by their ability to repeal the legislation that has given us ObamaCare.

I have a different standard. In addition to repealing ObamaCare, I also want the future Republican-led federal government to do away with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Never heard of it? You should wipe the haze of ignorance from your mind, because unless this law is repealed, life is going to much less illuminating and a lot more inconvenient and, dare I say, toxic, by 2014.

Buried in the text of this bill are efficiency mandates on lightbulbs that effectively outlaw most incandescent bulbs between the wattages of 40w and 100w. These just happen to be the bulbs that we most often use in our homes. I have previously written about this law, but as the countdown continues toward the phasing out of these lightbulbs, I haven't seen much of an increase in the uproar that should be taking place. I'm sorry to say that maybe one of the reasons for the lack of uproar is that a Republican president signed the bill into law. In this case, it really is George W. Bush's fault, as he signed the bill on December 19, 2007, when the American people were distracted during the heart of the Christmas season. Before we go and blame it all on Bush, I do remind you that he could only sign a bill if it was first approved by both houses of Congress, and who was one of the Senators who voted "Yea" on this bill before it reached President Bush's desk? None other than the Anointed One himself, Barack Obama.

I continue to stockpile incandescent light bulbs at every opportunity, buying a few here and a few there at the hardware store every time I make a trip there. The bulbs that we will be expected to use instead will be more expensive, will give off inferior lighting, and, if one breaks, will virtually require a haz-mat team to clean up due to their mercury content. Just read the EPA instructions for cleaning up one of these flourescent light bulbs that are going to replace the incandescent bulbs.

One last point about this law, which I can never resist making, because it needs to be made: Please point me to that article or section in the Constitution that gives Congress the power to dictate to me what kind of light bulb I am going to use. Oh, light bulbs weren't invented when the Constitution was written? Then please point me to any article or section of the Constitution that can be construed as giving Congress the power to tell me how I am going to illuminate my life.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

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