The Invisible Light Bulb Vigilantes Are Being Routed

For a long time, a subset of Republicans have been incensed by the prospect of energy-efficient light bulbs. This became a signature issue for rightwing crank and former congresswoman Michele Bachmann:

Rightwing wackaloon and Minnesota Congresswoman and possible presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has been traveling hither and yon in New Hampshire, which, according to Bachmann, is where the ‘shot heard round the world’ was fired. For those who don’t routinely wallow in the depths of the Republican id, one of Bachmann’s signature issues is saving the incandescent light bulb. No, really, I’m not kidding:

She conjured a tea bag from a hidden compartment in her blazer and began waggling it at the crowd.

She waggled it while stumping for her Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, a bill she reintroduced to the House earlier this month that would repeal a government decision to phase out incandescent bulbs.

“I think Thomas Edison did a pretty patriotic thing for this country by inventing the light bulb,” she said, “and I think darn well you New Hampshirites, if you want to want to buy Thomas Edison’s wonderful invention you should be able to!”

Admittedly, ‘Michele Bachmann opens mouth and stupid shit falls out’ isn’t exactly newsworthy. But this from a Bachmann supporter is, erm, interesting:

On her way out, Dee Hogan of Nashua told me she would gladly vote for Bachmann. “I don’t appreciate that your next-door neighbor is going to start yelling at me, telling me to shut my lights off when they have that shut-your-lights-off thingee. I don’t want people in my face, telling me what to do.”

I really don’t understand this. Soundwaves encoding a phrase like energy efficient light bulb contact Hogan’s tympanic membrane. Then a neurological process that is kinda like cognition, except that it’s really, really fucking stupid, occurs and out pops… a posse of light bulb vigilantes.

But never fear, the Republican-led Department of Energy is here!

In the last days of President Barack Obama’s administration, the Energy Department issued new rules attempting to make a wide swath of the lightbulbs illuminating U.S. homes and businesses more energy efficient. The move was cheered by environmentalists keen on the energy-saving potential but booed by conservatives who say it is not a bright idea to stop consumers from buying the lighting of their choice.

Now, the Trump administration appears to be ready to side with those incandescent die-hards, according to a document that was published on — but then deleted from — the Energy Department’s website.

The document, discovered and saved by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, indicates the Energy Department is preparing to repeal Obama-era rules that broadened the number of lightbulbs that must meet strict energy efficiency standards set to take effect in 2020….

But it is the lightbulb that is the “flagship” of the department’s energy efficiency efforts, according to Dan Reicher, former head of the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under President Bill Clinton. “When it’s all said and done,” Reicher said, “the first thing people think about when they think about energy efficiency is the lightbulb.”

The newfangled lightbulbs in particular have been held up — figuratively and at times literally, as Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) did once on the House floor — as an example of the federal government overreaching by forcing consumers to buy energy efficient products.

“The bill does one thing, Madame Speaker,” Poe said of the 2007 law a year after it was passed. “It controls the type of lightbulbs that all Americans must use.”

the energy savings lost if the last-minute Obama-era rules go away could power about 7 million homes for a year.

Freedom isn’t free. Or something. (It does lead to more carbon emissions however.)

Thank the Intelligent Designer for Republicans protecting us from the scourge of light bulb vigilantes. MAGA!

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