This article was first published on the blog Stuff Smart People Like.
The 2012 spending bill that outlines the budgets of 10 Cabinet agencies was just signed by Obama. The legislation includes cuts and concessions made to cut spending, among other things. Among those other things, Republicans are heartily patting themselves on the back for introducing language that overturns an earlier passage of a bill that would have phased out old, inefficient, incandescent bulbs. Some have even gone as far as to offer this up as a holiday "present" to their constituents. Texas, don't you have enough to be embarrassed about?
Did I mention that this original bill was signed in 2007 by GW Bush, and with partisan support? Or how about the fact that countries in the European Union and Australia have been doing this since 2009? Well, if you haven't already seen through this cheap political ploy in an election year, you only have to see that Michelle Bachmann is one of the key figures on this bill. That's right 'Merica, the big bad federal government wants to force you to save money and use less energy in a time when we have an economic crisis and rely heavily on foreign sources of energy. But, never fear, the Republicans are here to pass empty legislation to let you spend more on your energy bill and increase that dependence on foreign energy if you damn well please!
Ah, the gullible, blissfully ignorant American public. This passage won't actually do anything besides slow the process of switching to more efficient bulbs down, and maybe garner a few votes from people who are too stupid to read behind these obvious lines. The lighting industry has already spent millions of dollars retooling their factories and pouring R&D into more energy efficient bulbs, and they aren't likely to reverse that.
Happy Holidays folks.