Bipartisan budget deals require sacrifices. Here's one.

Yay, Congress passed a budget bill! Boo, it gutted energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs!

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  1. Do not worry about it. Having had long conversations with energy suppliers this legislation will happen. Otherwise it's going to be rolling brownouts for all of the nation. Right now we have enough early adopters that we're okay for a few years, and getting inexpensive flay panels into more houses has been a huge help.

    But there basically aren't enough energy plants being created to keep up with increased demand, so we'll be right back here in a few years. Just think of it as giving the LED guys a few more years to get things right and there won't be backlash like there is against CFLs.

  2. That was a Communist plot to make everyone buy those fancy Chinese lightbulbs with circuit boards in them. God intended us to use incandescent bulbs, containing proper tungsten wire from the tungsten mines of Rhodesia.

  3. You should make congress generate its own electricity with treadmills for congress critters.

  4. Legislate energy efficiency and not required technology.

    Legislation that mandates technologies is too inherently corruptible - and it's even worse under "intellectual property" regimes. Buy a congressman and make your patented technology a mandate, then you can make enough money to buy the Presidency and the Supreme Court.

    I'd rather we imposed a tax based on the inverse of lumens per watt and charge it directly to the consumer. Right now LEDs would not be not taxed, CFLs slightly taxed, and incandescents heavily taxed. Then that big ol' invisible hand the libertarians are always nattering on about will do your work for you, and the government can stop taxing income. Win.

  5. Rindan says:

    I really wish congress wouldn't mandate technology. A friend of mine ran into this sort of thing. Someone got the bright idea to essentially ban mercury in Maine. One of the largest employers at the time freaked out because they need a special type of mercury bulb to do a type of photolithography. They are safe with it, only have a few of the bulbs, and disposes of it properly. The legislation was eventually killed because the company screamed bloody murder loud enough, but it shows the point.

    Don't fucking ban things unless they are truly awful. Blank bans are as horrible as three strike laws and zero tolerance policies. Tax it. Take whatever you think the cost of the externality is toss it on top as tax. Want to play it safe? Take whatever you think the cost of the externality is and triple it. Don't fucking ban it.

    Do you think that inefficient light bulbs are bad? Cool, put a price on the badness and then triple it. Further, do it based upon a metric, not a technology. If someone can make an incandescent light bulb that takes less power than an LED (they can't, but for the sake of argument...) than that should be judged on the same standard. Congress are roughly the last people on this planet that should be picking technlogical winners and losers.

    Tax externalities based upon metrics. If someone is willing to shell out for an incandescent that costs more than an LED after the brutal externality tax, there is probably a good reason.

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