Michigan GOP giddy about new bill allowing residents to waste energy with impunity

Oh, my. This must have Republicans just giggling with giddiness.

On a nearly party-line vote, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill that would skirt a federal phaseout of older, less efficient light bulbs and allow Michigan manufacturers to make and sell the old version of bulb in the state.

State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, called the bill the “Right to Light,” bill and said that consumers should be able to choose what products they buy.

But Democrats in the House said the bill flouts the state’s status as a magnet for green technology and is a fantasy because there are no businesses in Michigan who make the older variety of light bulb.

“What are we hoping to accomplish?” said state Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids. “If we’re going to go down this road to promote outdated technology, maybe the next one should be the kerosene lamp or the 8-track tape machine.”

Just so you know what we’re talking about here, the bill would allow companies that make old, energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs in the state to sell them here. Since the company wouldn’t be selling them across state lines, the federal laws wouldn’t apply.

Also, too, in case you were wondering, compact fluorescent bulbs are just crazy more efficient. From the ENERGY STAR site:

If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.

An ENERGY STAR qualified light bulb:

  • Can save more than $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime
  • Uses about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and lasts at least 6 times longer
  • Produces about 75% less heat, so it’s safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling

They are so efficient that it is actually cost-effective to throw away any incandescent bulbs you have lying around and replacing them with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Really. They are that much better.

But, if you’re a Republican, you probably won’t want to do that because … well, actually, I don’t know why. Maybe these people leave the doors open when the air conditioning is on in the summer or furnace is running in the winter. Maybe they leave their SUVs idling in the driveway overnight. Maybe they cook with the oven door slightly ajar. Same principle, right?

Honestly, so far as I can tell, the only downside is that your EZ Bake ovens won’t work with them. Oh. Nevermind. They’ve fixed that, too.

In other Michigan GOP news, they’ve introduced legislation to allow citizens to carry stun guns. Because nothing could ever go wrong with that.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

I am a chemist by day and progressive liberal blogger by very early morning and very late night. I live just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan with my lovely and talented photographer wife, Anne C. Savage. I am a vegetarian and an avid organic gardener who loves to cook. I'm heavily involved in county-level Democratic Party activities and am on the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Executive Board as co-vice chair for precinct organizing.
Chris Savage (aka Eclectablog)
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