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Incandescent light bulb

In addition to raising auto fuel efficiency standards 40 percent, an energy bill passed by Congress yesterday bans the incandescent light bulb by 2014.

President Bush signed the 822-page measure into law today after it was sent up Pennsylvania Avenue in a Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. The House passed the bill by a 314-100 vote after approval by the Senate last week.

Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the legislation will boost the energy efficiency of “almost every significant product and tool and appliance that we use, from light bulbs to light trucks.”

The phase-out of incandescent light is to begin with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and end in 2014 with the 40-watt.

All light bulbs must use 25 percent to 30 percent less 2014. By 2020, bulbs must be 70 percent more efficient than they are today.

Australia was the first country to announce an outright ban by 2010.

Critics of Thomas Edison’s invention argue it uses more energy to produce light than the compact fluorescent, or CFL, bulb.

While standard light bulbs cost about 50 cents, the spiral CFL sells for about $3. Advocates argue, however, the CFL lasts five years longer and uses about 75 percent less energy.

But as WND reported, the presence of small amounts of highly toxic mercury in CFLs poses problems for consumers when breakage occurs and for disposal when bulbs eventually burn out. The potential environmental hazard created by the mass introduction of billions of CFLs with few disposal sites and a public unfamiliar with the risks is great.

Consumers generally are unaware of the risks of CFLs, and recycling experts say the solutions are at least five years away.

The Department of Energy, nevertheless, is encouraging citizens to take a pledge to replace at least one incandescent bulb with a CFL.


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