Dim Bulb Barton

From Bloomberg:

U.S. House Republicans urged passage of a measure to block a phase-out of traditional light bulbs, as the Obama administration called the bill anti-consumer.

The legislation, which was debated on the House floor yesterday and may be voted on this week, would cost Americans $6 billion in energy savings in 2015, the White House said in a statement yesterday.

Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, introduced the proposal to invalidate lighting efficiency standards that would effectively ban bulbs similar to the one invented by Thomas Edison more than 130 years ago. The requirements were included in a 2007 energy law signed by Republican President George W. Bush.

You remember ol’ Joe Barton, dont’cha, kids? He was the one who called the deal worked out between President Obama and BP in which BP would set up a $20 billion fun to pay for damages after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a “shakedown,” and who apologized to Tony Hayward when he testified in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
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Keeping the light-bulb standards in place would be “overkill by the federal government,” Barton said in yesterday’s debate.

“If you’re Al Gore, and you want to spend $10 a light bulb, more power to you,” Barton said, referring to the former Democratic Vice President who won a Nobel Prize for his advocacy of policies to curb climate change.


Representative Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican, said on the House floor that the government “wants to tell consumers what type of light bulb they use to read, cook, watch television, or light their garage.”


The new standards will cut air pollution and save consumers money in the long run, Democrats said. Representative Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said during debate that the efficiency standards will save the amount of energy over 20 years that would otherwise be produced by 30 coal-fired plants.

The danger posed by the mercury in CFLs is “extraordinarily small,” said David Goldston, director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council, on a conference call yesterday with reporters.

Republicans are bringing up the bill under parliamentary rules that prohibit amendments and require two-thirds of the members voting to pass.

If the measure clears the higher vote hurdle, it faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Senator Jeff Bingaman, the chairman of the Senate Energy panel, “thinks that efforts to repeal the law are just plain dumb,” Bill Wicker, a spokesman for the New Mexico Democrat, said in an e-mail.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on a similar bill introduced by Senator Michael Enzi, a Wyoming Republican. “The committee plans no further action,” Wicker said.


The administration said the new requirements won’t dictate how Americans illuminate their homes. “Any type of bulb can be sold as long as it meets the efficiency requirements,” the White House said, without issuing a veto threat.


The National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which includes Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Co. (GE), is lobbying against the push to prevent the light-bulb changes. Manufacturers have said they already retooled their factories to make products that comply with the new standards.

Environmental groups and efficiency advocates have also countered the Republican-led push by noting potential cost savings to consumers under the 2007 law.


Filed under Al Gore, Barack Obama, Chimpy, Congress, Democrats, George W. Bush, humor, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Texas, Wordpress Political Blogs

59 responses to “Dim Bulb Barton

  1. Barton should just stick a light bulb up his and shut the hell up.

  2. jeb

    Any light bulbs going off over his head are just images projected there by his corporate energy sponsors.

  3. johncerickson

    Ol’ Barty boy has just a few minor details wrong:
    1. Incandescents will still be available – you don’t HAVE to use CFLs, and old bulbs will still be available for oddball uses (like inside fridges and ovens, among others).
    2. The “mercury threat” is indeed grossly overstated – right now, an old-style 40-watt fluorescent “tube” light (like you see in office buildings) has several orders of magnitude more mercury than a CFL.
    3. CFLs aren’t $10 a bulb – I believe they’re currently about $1 each around here, and dropping. And we’re a mostly rural area, so they’ll probably be cheaper in bigger cities.
    Or am I just clouding the issue with more of those horrifically inconvenient facts? 😀

    • i guess frank luntz couldn’t think of anything else to distract people with. it’s not coincidence that the imbeciles on fox & friends had their hair on fire about this. too bad for them that nobody is distracted. people are too worried they or their parents aren’t going to get their social security checks.

  4. GreenApples

    Plenty of Dim Wits in Texas, State lawmakers have passed a bill that allows Texans avoid the authority of the federal government or the repeal of the 2007 energy independence act that starts phasing out some incandescent light bulbs next year, should Barton’s bill not make it in Washington.

    “Let there be light,” state Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, wrote on Facebook after the bill passed. “It will allow the continued manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs in Texas, even after the federal ban goes into effect. … It’s a good day for Texas.”

    Local Dim Wits have the stupidity covered! 🙂

    • the stupid shines bright in texas. south carolina is just as stupid. they’ve already passed a law in the house allowing incandescent bulbs, and they want a manufacturer of those bulbs to locate in the state so they don’t have to worry about interstate commerce and ignore the federal law. idiots. they have nothing better to do?

  5. 130-year-old technology. We should be glad Barton’s not trying to push us back to oil lamps (with BP exclusively supplying the oil).

    to tell consumers what type of light bulb they use to read, cook, watch television,

    If you can cook with your light bulb, it’s definitely not efficient enough at generating light relative to heat.

    • johncerickson

      You are truly an Infidel! How dare you question a favourite toy of our youth, the Easy Bake Oven? A mere lightbulb produced an endless array of tasty…….
      Aw, heck, I can’t even type that with a straight face. 😀
      And yes, I’m an old fart! 😉

    • john beat me to the punch in mentioning the easy bake oven. 😆

      i wonder where apologizin’ dimbulb barton (his new nickname, by the way) parks his horse and buggy when he gets to work.

      these guys are always flapping their lips about entrepreneurs and american ingenuity, yet they want to stick with old light bulbs. 🙄

  6. jean-philippe

    I’m confused… I thought this bill was Bachman’s baby? It should have been her day… What happened?

    • i think the whole light bulb thing started in south carolina, but i could be wrong. there’s a first time for everything. 😉

    • Oh, yay, freedom to shop. Lady, I can shop as much as my wallet allows and I choose to shop green!

    • Oooooh! Bachmann is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I want to gag when she says “President Bachmann”.
      The buzzword “Job Creators” is already old & worn out & clearly the GOP’ers have been instructed to use it extensively.
      Apparently, they are really into fiction.
      And yea…. Bachmann thinks the pesky EPA & those annoying things like clean air & water regulations need to be abolished.
      She’s about 10 years late to the lightbulb issue.

      • but don’t worry, fran. listen carefully to her next time. she’s not running for the presidency of the usa, she’s running for the presidency of the unineted states. i thought it was my ears, but i saw her on tv tonight, and i swear she has some kind of verbal tic, and she pronounces it really weird every time.

  7. Cripes … not him again. Love the fact that he can barely hit the dart board.

  8. Incredible. We’re playing chicken with financial Armageddon over the debt ceiling, and the republicans haven’t passed a single piece of jobs legislation, and these idiots are talking about light bulbs?!?

    • amazing, huh? like i said above, they’re just trying to distract everyone from the fact that the rethugs have absolutely no new ideas whatsoever.

    • I’m not surprised. I honestly think they do half the things they do just to piss off liberals. Lovely, the hippies get punched from both sides.

  9. So, to add to the list of “To be a Republican, you have to …”

    … believe that increasing efficiency standards for lightbulbs is a tyrannical intrusion into your life, but that regulating the gender of those with whom you can have relationships is vital to preserving the nation.

    This is stupid.

  10. maggiejean

    Next up: Bill to restore rotary telephones

    • omg! maggiejean has finally commented at the raisin! 😀 color me happy! (omigosh, was that racist? 😯 )

      welcome to the raisin, maggiejean! 😀

      i think it would be hilarious if people wrote to anyone who voted for that stupid light bulb bill and asked them to restory rotary telephones, outhouses, iceboxes, and any other household item that’s outdated. 😆

  11. It’s a fact- some bulbs are dimmer than others.

  12. This is such a waste of time that could be spent with dozens of bills outlawing abortion over and over again. Or lady parts and other naughty bits being declared illegal and immoral. Joe Barton. Baron of Arlington, should pay attention to pressing matters like activating the National Guard, with bayonets affixed, to make those Cowboy season ticket holders cough up the $400 a game ticket that must be paid, even if the lockout means no games will be played this season.

    • seriously! they could have already made this a real christian nation if they didn’t waste time on light bulbs. one that speaks english only.

  13. Snoring Dog Studio

    the factories have already re-tooled to produce the newer, more efficient bulbs … geezus! I am so sick of this posturing about their “liberties and freedoms”!! This is not legislating, it’s not statesmanship, it’s not governing. It’s wasting every citizens time and dollar because of their rabid, insane dislike of Obama and what he stands for. When are the average blokes in this country going to wake up and see that their Republican ship is sinking and is taking the country down with it?

    • Kind of like…. a lightbulb over their heads!

    • that’s what gets me. nobody is bitching about the light bulbs except for the teabaggers in congress and a couple of state and some idiots on faux news. it’s the politics of distraction, and the media fall for it every time.