The House GOP’s inclusion of a policy rider in the $1 trillion “omnibus” spending bill that prevents the Department of Energy from phasing out Incandescent light bulbs is not sitting well with the light bulb industry:
Big companies like General Electric, Philips and Osram Sylvania spent big bucks preparing for the standards, and the industry is fuming over the GOP bid to undercut them.
After spending four years and millions of dollars prepping for the new rules, businesses say pulling the plug now could cost them. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association has waged a lobbying campaign for more than a year to persuade the GOP to abandon the effort.
Manufacturers are worried that the rider will undermine companies’ investments and “allow potential bad actors to sell inefficient light bulbs in the United States without any fear of federal enforcement,” said Kyle Pitsor, the trade group’s vice president of government relations.
Yes, you read that correctly: An industry group whose membership includes one of the largest multinational conglomerates in the world, General Electric, has had to lobby Republicans in congress to keep government regulations in place. But apparently, their lobbying efforts that represent over 95 percent of the Lighting Industry have now proved to be a failure in the face of a few fringe House Republicans like Michele Bachmann who craftily slipped the language into the bill. The Republicans just couldn’t stomach the narrative that regulations can be beneficial.
Of course, the irony of all of this is that it was President George W. Bush who originally signed the bipartisan-supported bill in 2007 that
killed would have killed the Incandescent bulb. At the time, Michele Bachmann responded by introducing the “Light Bulb Freedom Of Choice Act” to the chuckles of President Bush and the rest of the Republican establishment. It seems like she now gets the last laugh.