WASHINGTON (AP) -- Having to buy a squiggly fluorescent light bulb is an affront to personal freedom, some lawmakers are saying as the House decides whether to overturn a law setting new energy-efficiency standards for the bulbs.
House Republicans are pushing legislation that would overturn measures in a 2007 energy act requiring efficiency upgrades in the old-fashioned incandescent light bulb, little changed since it was invented by Thomas Edison in 1879.
Republicans say the new standards, signed into law by President George W. Bush, are a symbol of an overreaching federal government and people should have the right to buy the traditional, cheap and reliable incandescent bulbs. The Obama administration and environmentalists say new bulbs on the market will save American households billions of dollars in energy costs.
The legislation, promoted by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, is being considered under a procedure requiring a two-thirds majority to pass. With Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee urging their colleagues to oppose it, that won't be easy to achieve, and the bill faces dim prospects in the Democratic-controlled Senate. A House vote could come Tuesday.
For some Republicans, the new standards are too glaring an example of big brother government to ignore. The legislation, Barton said, "is about more than just energy consumption. It is about personal freedom."