-By Warner Todd Huston
In a small step in the right direction, the House of Representatives passed a provision to defund the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act, denying the government the funds to enforce the new lightbulb standards that would have levied a defacto ban on incandescent bulbs.
Of course, the problem is that this is a temporary, stopgap measure not a full solution. This defunding process will have to be repeated every year or the lightbulb standards will slip into effect anyway. This amendment does not eliminate the new EPA standards, but it does give manufacturers of the bulbs and retailers of the same another year to sell their product without the weight of Big Brother coming down upon their heads.
The amendment to the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act was put forward by Rep. Michael Burgess (R, Texas) and passed on a voice vote on Friday morning, July 15.
“If a manufacturer should choose to continue to make 100-watt bulbs, they would be permitted under this language, as there is clearly a market based on the thousands of consumers who have contacted Congress upset about their inability to buy 100-watt lightbulbs,” Burgess said. “This is about the consumer driving the market, not the federal government deciding the market.”
The problem is, of course, that this does not fix the law. With this solution we are still saddled with the nannystate defacto lightbulb ban and if some future congress inattentive to this issue does not offer another in a series of yearly amendments to continue defunding the enforcement of the rules, well, we are right back at square one with having incandescent lightbulbs banned by the nannystate federal government.
These “standards” need to be repealed and removed from the law. Simply defunding the enforcement every year is not a satisfactory solution.