July 10, 2011
Irritated with federal regulation, Republicans hope a state law will get around a national mandate to replace old-fashioned bulbs with more efficient lamps.
By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington— It doesn't have the ring of "Remember the Alamo," but a new battle cry has gone up in Texas: "Remember the incandescent bulb."
Texas has become the first state seeking to skirt a federal law that phases out old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in favor of more efficient lamps — a move that has emerged as a shining example of Republicans' resolve to strike down what many view as excessive federal regulation.
Texas hopes to get around the law with a measure recently signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry declaring that incandescent bulbs — if made and sold only in Texas — do not involve interstate commerce and therefore are not subject to federal regulation.
Critics of the federal mandate hope the Texas action will spur Congress to repeal the light bulb rules or prompt other states to adopt similar laws. The Republican-controlled U.S. House on Monday is expected to take up a repeal measure sponsored by a Texas congressman. Efforts also are underway in Pennsylvania and South Carolina to follow Texas' lead.
The 2007 federal energy legislation phases out the old-style incandescent bulbs over three years, starting with 100-watt bulbs next Jan. 1. Supporters said that consumers will be able to buy a new kind of incandescent bulb that is more efficient and cost about $1 more. The latest model — shown off to lawmakers recently — surrounds the filament with a halogen capsule that uses fewer watts.
Posted by Nickie Goomba at 1:38 AM