The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act that was signed into law by President George W. Bush has finally taken full affect as of January 1st, 2014. The law has been given a slow roll-out over the past few years to allow both companies and consumers to adjust to new light bulb restrictions. The law bans the manufacturing and importing of any incandescent bulbs, but instead people must choose between the more energy efficient options of CFL or LED lighting. While 75 and 100 watt bulbs were phased out in early 2012, the lower wattage bulbs – 45 and 60 – are now being left behind. Even though this law has taken a while to fully implement, opposition in Congress has been steadily increasing.
The current atmosphere of Washington, DC, is contentious to say the least. This is clearly evident in both houses of the legislative branch, where one party cannot make a move without being intensely criticized by the other side. The 2007 light bulb bill was passed with broad bipartisan support in a Democratically controlled Congress and signed into place by a Republican White House. But there are many today who now think that the government is messing with the free market, an area where it does not belong. Conservatives argue that energy efficient bulbs are not always popular, and consumers should be given the option to what lighting they buy for their homes.
Members of Congress are currently debating a massive $1 trillion spending bill and Republicans have added a new amendment that would bar the EPA from being able to enforce the new bulb restrictions. But experts argue this might not make a difference, as most major light producers have already made the switch to energy efficient bulbs.