In 2007, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, former President, George W. Bush, signed a bill to gradually phase out the use of inefficient incandescent light bulbs by the year 2014. The law was supposed to become effective as of January this year, but was pushed back in December of 2011 until October 2012, when the US House passed the final 2012 budget legislation.
Now, as the beginning of this month, Republicans want to dismiss the entire notion, according to Bloomberg. They believe that in phasing out the traditional bulb, it will put a large amount of companies and people out of jobs. An end to the sale of incandescent light bulbs in the US will provoke businesses to purchase the light bulbs from other countries. They also feel that American citizens should have the right to decide which types of products they wish to purchase. “I’m smart enough to make my own decisions about the purchase of energy, and the government should not feel the need to do that for me,” says Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican, who sponsored the light bulb amendment.
However, Democrats are in favor of the phase out, working towards a more sustainable environment by having to replace traditional bulbs with more energy efficient options. Surprisingly, light bulb companies, such as GE, are also in favor of the national phase-out. They have already been working to create efficient light bulb replacements that provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs. They also have already altered their manufacturing equipment in order to do so, which can be a costly process. Environmentalists, of course, also back up the Democrats. Incandescent bulbs emit harmful CO2 into the atmosphere. Although, some may argue that replacement options contain mercury and other harmful chemicals, and therefore are difficult to dispose of, they are more energy efficient and less harmful to the environment. LED light bulbs on the other hand, contain no harmful chemicals and are recyclable. They are also the most energy efficient light bulb on the market today. Most people are apprehensive about the high price of LED light bulbs, but they last significantly longer than incandescent bulbs, making them the cheaper alternative in the long run.