The House of Representatives, the Senate and…the light bulb

You betcha I’m worked up over this.  But according to the knowledgeable, not to mention illuminating Coral Davenport, the energy and environment correspondent of  National Journal, the possibility of changing the Light Bulb law is DOA. The ill-considered 2007 law that will end reading by electrical light as we know it will go into effect as ill-planned, in 2012.

As Ms. Davenport writes, to my sorrow, “Despite all the political crossfire over lightbulbs, it’s unlikely that Republicans will succeed: The House vote will take place under a procedural rule requiring a two-thirds majority, which makes it uncertain whether it will pass—while it is certain to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R. Va., had scheduled a vote for Monday evening, but it’s being pushed back until Tuesday, his office said Monday morning.

“The provision requires that by 2012, lightbulb manufacturers produce bulbs that generate the same amount of light but use less electricity to do it. It would not outlaw incandescent bulbs, nor mandate production of the curlicue-shaped compact fluorescent bulbs…

“At the time it was introduced, the legislation was championed by Democratic and Republican leaders alike. The original 2007 lightbulb efficiency language was cosponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Ill. It passed easily through the House Energy and Commerce Committee and was added as an amendment to a bill that passed the Senate by a vote of 86-8, passed the House by a vote of 314-100, and was signed into law by President George W. Bush.”

I could go on, but I have to rush out  to Home Depot to scoop up what’s left of the greatness of the 20th century.  I feel toward our country now as did the British Foreign Secretary toward Europe on the eve of the First World War.  It was reportedly  Sir Edward Grey, who, standing at dusk at his window in the Foreign Office, looking out as the gas street lamps were being ignited, memorably said, “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.”

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