Phyllis Schlafly

CFL bulbs do not work well in colder temperatures, and most cannot handle dimmer switches; broken CFL bulbs allegedly cause migraines and epilepsy attacks. Their supposed capacity to save energy is greatly exaggerated because, since CFLs do not emit as much heat, we'll have to compensate by turning up our thermostats in winter months.

The one result of CFLs we are sure about is that they export American jobs to China, where manufacturers enjoy the benefit of cheap labor. General Electric has already closed factories in Kentucky and Ohio, and this month it is closing its major light bulb factory in Winchester, Va., that employed 200 people.

The EPA has issued 91 pages of regulations to force manufacturers to revise their packaging in order to make CFLs more attractive to reluctant customers. The new labels get rid of the watt as the measure of light a bulb puts out and replace it with the lumen, making it difficult for Americans to select the right bulb.

Globalists give us the usual propaganda about an obligation to conform U.S. policy to the rest of the world. Cuba in 2005 exchanged all incandescent light bulbs for CFLs and banned their sale and importation, but surely we should not take our lead from Cuba.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., has been credited with banning incandescent light bulbs, along with imposing obnoxious regulations and phase-out dates. He's now not so eager to claim credit for that law.

When asked in September about his authorship, Upton said, "It was Jane Harman's bill with Denny Hastert and others." By November, he was promising that if he becomes chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, "we'll be re-examining the light bulb issue, no problem."

By December, he was saying that "we have heard the grassroots loud and clear, and will have a hearing early next Congress. 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."

Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., summed it up: "The misguided ban on incandescent light bulbs needs to be repealed. Banning a product that has been used safely for more than 100 years in favor of Chinese imported CFLs that pose considerable health risks is yet another example of more government intrusion into Americans' personal lives."

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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