By Jerry McConnell

According to Robert Romano of two State Representatives in South Carolina want to get their heads screwed on right by allowing the people of their state to be able to continue to screw incandescent light bulbs into the lighting fixtures in their homes in that state.

These two screwy, in the most commendable way, legislators Bill Sandifer and Dwight Loftis, have authored and submitted a bill that would allow for the manufacture and purchase of incandescent bulbs in South Carolina. As Romero points out, these bulbs are currently subject to a federal ban.

NetRightDaily’s reporter Romano explained what motivated the two State Representatives Sandifer and Loftis as told by Bill Wilson, the President of Americans for Limited Government when he said they “are taking the lead in protecting the rights of South Carolina consumers, who don’t want the federal government telling them which light bulbs they must use.”

“The basic concept of the bill” according to State Rep. Bill Sandifer, Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, “is to allow the citizens of South Carolina to be able to continue to buy incandescent bulbs.”
“It is my strong belief that the feds have overstepped the Tenth Amendment, and now are venturing into telling us what kinds of lighting we can have in our homes,” Sandifer added.

“But how can the federal government ban light bulbs?’ asked Romano, “They are trying to use again as they have so often done, the Commerce Clause. But I have a real problem with Big Brother intruding in how I live in my home,” Sandifer declared.

Explaining what the bill does, Representative Loftis said “it provides for the option of an entity manufacturing these bulbs in South Carolina to be sold in South Carolina”.

Wilson explained, “since the bulbs would be made entirely in South Carolina and sold in South Carolina, the federal government has no power to regulate it under the Interstate Commerce Clause.” Romano’s report went on saying there would be more hearings in the subcommittee before coming to a final vote in the full committee. Chairman Sandifer was hopeful for a full house approval of the bill.

After regaining control of Congress in 2006 a piece of legislation passed by the Congressional majority of Democrats in 2007 called Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which requires that all general-purpose light bulbs be more energy efficient than the existing incandescent bulbs starting on January 01, 2012 on a graduated basis beginning with 100 watt bulbs and ending with 40 watt bulbs in 2014.

It seems like that legislation was enacted just this past year it is still so fresh in people’s minds along with the unpopularity of its requirements. Except for a few chronic worry-warts I know that would be happy to ban almost any activity we humans take for granted, just about everyone else I speak with would prefer to keep the old reliable bulb Thomas Edison brought to us over a century ago.

The “Greenies” as environmentalists are often known, might be happy with their coup of replacing incandescent with the ‘compact fluorescent lamps but our modern day rival China is ecstatic over this new ruling, as they have gained the lion’s share of the market for CFLs as they are commonly known.

So the Democrats once again proved their leadership in moving jobs away from American citizens and blessing foreigners with their largesse, reminiscent of the job shift from American citizens to foreign illegal aliens for the sake of gaining more votes, illegal in many cases, right here at home.

So OK, maybe they’re better for us in terms of environmental issues; but much of the opposition to these bulbs do not agree with that assessment. And the cost factor is also being argued in some circles that the excessive extra cost can, in some instances, never be recovered through cheaper operating costs. Time will settle that issue.

But these new corkscrew looking bulbs may be MUCH more dangerous to our health and the environment as the heavy content of mercury poses long-term additional risks and the very costs of necessary burdensome methods of exact clean-up of broken bulbs is onerous, particularly indoors where nearly all of the breakage will be concentrated. Another time-will-tell issue. But can we wait to find out?

One more complaint with these bulbs is the inability to provide a dimmable bulb which is very popular in many households. It is believed that this will be worked out in due time; but as stated above, can we wait to find out?
Robert Romano furnished these closing remarks by Dwight Loftis, one of the South Carolina Representative authors of the bill who blasted the federal ban on incandescent light bulbs, saying, “On the one hand, the feds say we need to do something about cleaning up the environment, and on the other hand, they impose requirements that we use this particular light bulb that has hazards with the disposal of it.” The new fluorescent bulbs are laced with mercury, raising concerns over the costs of proper disposal and over mercury seepage back into the environment.
“All in all, it’s just something that the feds really I think have no business in regulating,” Loftis said, saying that the supposed cost savings from using the bulbs simply will not be there for consumers.”

I agree. Why in the world would we Americans want to mandate a foreign product of highly questionable merits, and of higher costs along with attendant loss of jobs going to other countries?

Are all those negatives worth seeing Democrats get more votes to perpetuate their terms in office? Good luck to the two South Carolina solons and may their zeal spread rapidly to other states if the Republicans in Congress can’t repeal this bad piece of legislation.