Monday, May 07, 2007

Congress Makes Its Move To Ban Incandescent Bulbs

Hot Air put this up this weekend, but I've been talking about it for a couple of weeks now. This weekend was my first wedding anniversary so they got the scoop, but not after I did a whole show about it on Friday. The Democrats in Congress are trying to require CFL bulbs everywhere while banning incandescent bulbs. There are some major problems with that.

First of all, as I wrote here, if you break a CFL bulb you can expect to spend about $2000 to clean it up. Why do you have to clean it up? Mercury vapor ... that's why. Mercury in its gas form is extremely dangerous. It not only poses a health hazard to humans, but it is an environmental pollutant. You can expect that $2000 to come out of your pocket as well because most insurance companies won't pay to have a pollutant cleaned by a hazmat team.

Since CFL bulbs claim to save you about $180 a year off your power bill ... if you break one you can expect it to take 11 years for the bulb to pay for itself.

There isn't much that is environmentally friendly about the CFL bulbs either. Ok so you don't think you'll break a CFL bulb, and have to worry about mercury poisoning. What happens when the bulb dies out? Bet you didn't think of that one did you? You're not allowed to throw them in the garbage to be sent to the dump. They must be disposed of properly because of the mercury. If everyone threw out their CFL bulbs in the trash we'd have a major mercury problem on our hands.

Just like you can't throw away motor oil ... you can't throw away mercury. You must get it to a designated disposal area, or to someone certified to dispose of it. You will pay for that service as well so you can expect that $180 annual savings to be just a little lower now. If you've ever tried to get rid of oil after you did your own oil change ... you know what I'm talking about.

If you don't have anyplace to take the CFL bulbs locally then you must deliver them to the proper dumping site ... often several miles outside of the city. Now you have wasted gas, and added more greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere. So much for being green. Some places don't even have these disposal facilities yet, and I know our local garbage service doesn't handle CFL bulbs.

As usual, Democrats are in a mad rush to pander to their greenie base in time for the next election, and haven't thought this through. CFL bulbs are not cost efficient, and they are far from environmentally friendly. LED lighting is, but it's still new and expensive, and the Dems can't wait that long to mobilize their base for an election. There will be a lot of costs, hassles, and probably injuries as a result of this legislation if it goes through.


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