Dim Prospects for Repeal of Lightbulb Ban
9:01 AM, Jun 22, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Last week, Texas lawmakers passed a bill that allows Texas-made incandescent lightbulbs to be sold within the state, sidestepping the effective ban Congress's Energy Independence and Security Act placed on standard bulbs, which requires producers to sell more energy efficient light sources. But for all other states, under the federal law, general use incandescent lightbulbs will be phased out of the market by 2012.
House Republicans have tried to repeal the federal regulation since Congress first passed the Energy Independence Act in 2007. The latest repeal bill, Joe Barton's (R-Tex.) Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, currently has 69 cosponors in the House. A spokesman for bill's author said that Barton will "continue to work toward a vote on the House floor and we are hopeful it will come soon."
But so far, there's been no movement on the bill since it was introduced in January after Republicans took control of the House. And Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, hasn't revealed his next steps.
"I can tell you that Chairman Upton has been working closely with his committee members, including Reps. Barton and [Michael] Burgess, on this issue," said Upton spokeswoman Charlotte Baker in an email. Baker did not elaborate on when the committee might move the bill through.
Upton supported the incandescent ban in 2007, but during his campaign late last year for the Energy and Commerce chairmanship, he told Fred Barnes that he supported reconsidering the ban.