On Fox News’ Fox and Friends today Stuart Varney called Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn a hero for trying to get rid of the “ban on incandescent light bulbs.” There are two problems with this statement. The light bulbs aren’t banned, and the phase out was actually a Republican idea that was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007.
Here is the video of Varney from Media Matters:
While promoting his own show Varney said, “We have Ambassador John Bolton on the Egypt situation. We’ve got Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn who is trying to get rid of that ban on incandescent light bulbs. She’s our hero.”
In those few seconds, Fox News managed to push the false talking point that incandescent light bulbs are banned, and also portrayed a Republican as a hero for trying to get rid of the “ban.” However, incandescent light bulbs are not banned. The use of the term band creates a false image of big government making the light bulbs illegal to own. The truth is that Energy independence and Security Act of 2007 increased the efficiency standards for light bulbs by 30% from 2012-2014. The new energy standards begin with 100 watt bulbs in 2012, and end with 45 watt bulbs in 2014. There is also a list of exempt bulb types that includes appliance lamps, rough service bulbs, 3-way, colored lamps, and plant lights. In 2020 a second set efficiency raising standards will take effect.
It is not going to be illegal to own incandescent bulbs. No one is going to come to your house and take them away, or put you in jail for owning them. There is no ban. America is simply moving to a more efficient light bulb. You will still be able incandescent bulbs for uses that are exempt from the new standards.
Here’s the real kicker. The Energy Independence and National Security Act was signed into law, not by the “nanny state loving socialist Obama,” but by Republican free market champion George W. Bush. When President Bush signed the bill into law on December 19, 2007, he praised the energy efficiency standards, “The bill also includes revisions to improve energy efficiency in lighting and appliances. It adopts elements of the executive order I signed requiring federal agencies to lead by example in efficiency and renewable energy use.”
This bill came into being as the legislative response to George W. Bush’s Twenty in Ten challenge during his 2007 State of the Union. In the address, Bush called on the United States to improve fuel economy, and increase alternative fuels. His goal was to cut gasoline consumption by 20% in 10 years. All of the current right wing outrage over light bulbs is due to a proposal by their own Republican president. It was their idea. Instead of trying to pass this plan off as Democratic big government, they need to look in the mirror. If they don’t like the new bulbs, they should be blaming themselves, not Obama or the Democrats.
It is typical that Fox News would try to frame Republicans as fighting the heroic fight against big government, without telling their viewers that they themselves created the big government that they are now so outraged about, so the next time you come across a right winger who is moaning about the light bulb ban, let them know that could have all the incandescent bulbs that they wanted if they would not have voted for Republican George W. Bush, the energy efficient light bulb president.
Image courtesy of Moonbattery