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Gingersnap
12-07-2010, 10:56 AM
Upton flips a switch on CFL bulbs

Feeling heat, lawmaker sees light on incandescents

By Stephen Dinan

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.

Still, they were slow to catch on, prompting industry, environmentalists and lawmakers to team up and give consumers a push. Mr. Upton joined Rep. Jane Harman, California Democrat, to co-sponsor legislation to phase out incandescent bulbs beginning in 2012. Their bill was incorporated into the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which passed with wide bipartisan majorities and was signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush.

But in the intervening years, CFLs have joined low-flow toilets in drawing the scorn of consumers, and some argue that the bulbs' mercury content poses a safety and environmental hazard.

Some consumers even said they are stockpiling incandescent bulbs to defy the phaseout.

Washington Times (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/6/upton-flips-a-switch-on-cfl-bulbs/)

PoliCon
12-07-2010, 11:32 AM
Upton should NOT be placed in charge of anything. It's too convenient to repent when he has something to gain from it.

Constitutionally Speaking
12-07-2010, 12:33 PM
Fred is a pretty decent fellow, and is (mostly) right on his stances, but last time I saw him I gave him an earful about this issue and I was not alone.

I think he is getting the message.

Still, he needs to prove he gets it before we let him off the hook.

3rd-try
12-19-2010, 08:35 PM
Fred is a pretty decent fellow, and is (mostly) right on his stances, but last time I saw him I gave him an earful about this issue and I was not alone.

I think he is getting the message.

Still, he needs to prove he gets it before we let him off the hook.


..I hope you're right, but they make their living with words. And, their words usually aren't crystal clear.
Example:


and this has been a good lesson that Congress does not always know best."


It could be argued he's saying "Congress usually knows whats best" I don't find his admission all that comforting.

Constitutionally Speaking
12-20-2010, 07:52 AM
..I hope you're right, but they make their living with words. And, their words usually aren't crystal clear.
Example:




It could be argued he's saying "Congress usually knows whats best" I don't find his admission all that comforting.



I hope I'm right also.


Only time will tell.