Progressive Poison, CFL Bulb Enlightenment, Rep. Upton (MI-R) has a Bright Idea in Reverse

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CFL bulbs are not the innocuous, energy saving, boon to humanity that has been portrayed in the media by ecophobiacs.  There are dangerous consequences to their use.  If one is broken, you may find yourself responsible for cleaning up a toxic waste area, facing thousands of dollars in clean up costs and not able to live in your home.  Have you ever broken a light bulb?

Brandy Bridges of Prospect, Maine, shows a newspaper insert promoting the type of CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs she says have caused elevated levels of mercury in her home upon breaking (photo courtesy: Ellison American)

In April World Net Daily reported the saga of Brandy Bridges:

WASHINGTON – Brandy Bridges heard the claims of government officials, environmentalists and retailers like Wal-Mart all pushing the idea of replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving and money-saving compact fluorescent lamps.

So, last month, the Prospect, Maine, resident went out and bought two dozen CFLs and began installing them in her home. One broke. A month later, her daughter’s bedroom remains sealed off with plastic like the site of a hazardous materials accident, while Bridges works on a way to pay off a $2,000 estimate by a company specializing in environmentally sound cleanups of the mercury inside the bulb.

With everyone from Al Gore to Wal-Mart to the Environmental Protection Agency promoting CFLs as the greatest thing since, well, the light bulb, consumers have been left in the dark about a problem they will all face eventually – how to get rid of the darn things when they burn out or, worse yet, break.

CFLs are all the rage. They are the spirally shaped, long-lasting bulbs everyone is being urged, cajoled and guilt-tripped into purchasing to replace Thomas Edison’s incandescents, which are being compared to sports utility vehicles for their impracticality and energy inefficiency. However, there is no problem disposing of incandescents when their life is over. You can throw them in the trash can and they won’t hurt the garbage collector. They won’t leech deadly compounds into the air or water. They won’t kill people working in the landfills.

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Feel free to choose your own source, for further information about these poisonous light bulbs.  We suggest you take the search engine of your choice and use these words: CFL bulb Mercury evacuate.

But we need the new CFL bulbs, right?  After all, they’re made in… China, while a great share of the old incandescents have always been made in… um, America!  But, after all, “green is the new red, right?  Just ask Van Jones.

Now back to Representative Upton who brought this curse down upon us.

Reported in the New York Times:

Three years after he led the charge to require consumers to ditch their comfortable old incandescent lights in favor of those twisty CFL bulbs, Rep. Fred Upton now wants to be the man to help undo that law as the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

That about-face is not unique among lawmakers looking to atone for stances they’ve taken over the past decade as they seek to gain top posts in a decidedly more conservative Republican Congress, but his reversal underscores how intent the GOP is on proving it has broken with past practices.

“We have heard the grass roots loud and clear, and will have a hearing early next Congress,” said Mr. Upton, a Michigan Republican who is facing several others in his party in a bid to earn the gavel of the powerful committee. “The last thing we wanted to do was infringe upon personal liberties – and this has been a good lesson that Congress does not always know best.”

Indeed, the compact fluorescent lamp, or CFL, has become a symbol of government overreach for many consumers, who wonder what was wrong with the incandescent bulbs that have lighted their kitchens, family rooms and bedrooms for more than a century.

The government says incandescent bulbs have too short a life span and are inefficient, wasting most of their energy on heat rather than on light. CFLs, on the other hand, can last up to 10 times as long and use 75 percent less electricity.

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And from the American Thinker:

broken CFL bulbs are considered toxic hazard

Why is the incandescent light bulb ban such a lightning rod for Tea Party-inspired remorse from big government Republicans? Simple: it’s a liberty-stealing assault on our privacy and common sense, outrageously expensive, and doesn’t solve any of the problems it’s intended to fix. That’s only for starters. The most egregious feature is that the ban makes fools of the American people who willingly succumb to such nonsense from Washington, D.C.

Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), campaigning to advance his chances in ascending the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, now says he’d open hearings to reconsider the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs.

His first witness should be Dennis Miller, who quipped on his radio show about dreaded CFLs, the most ballyhooed replacement for incandescents: “I don’t care what my electric bill is. I haven’t worked my entire life so that my living room can look like a Soviet Bloc stairwell during a James Bond fight scene.” A good line for Miller to express humorously what most people are thinking.

And it would be a good move for Upton to seek some conservative creds, given the testosterone of by his rival Joe Barton (R-TX). Maneuvering to keep his top spot for the Republicans on Energy &Commerce, it was Barton, knowing how to push all of the red buttons, who in October introduced a bill to repeal the light bulb ban in its entirety.

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One of the best stories I heard last year about the unintended consequences of decisions made without knowledge occurred in one of the western states, Montana or South Dakota. All of the energy guzzling street light were replaced with  the cool, mercury filled CFL bulbs and all was well until the winter snows piled up and the streetlights were encrusted with snow and the light was blocked making for very dangerous conditions.  It turns out that the waste heat produced by the nasty incandescent bulbs had an invaluable function of melting the snow, keeping the fixtures de-iced and shining brightly.  The municipal trustees are looking into installing some kind of heater to do the job that the old bulbs did gratis. I wonder how much that will cost the taxpayers?  The moral of the story: leave well enough alone, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and man, was Edison a genius or what?
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