States’ Rights Live On

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


Pages: 1 2

The anxious energy savers who believe a national law and subsidies are necessary promise you will be able to cut your electric bill by a whopping 50 bucks a year. How exciting can such enormous money-saving be? You will, however, have to pay dearly for the new bulbs. The energy saving is that the new bulbs supposedly last 4 to 10 times longer than those bright old bulbs, unless the new bulbs are turned on and off frequently.

Banning Edison’s great invention, reportedly began in Castro’s Cuba and was followed by Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, These are nations with economic systems that seem to inspire Obama-like governing..

In Europe, incandescent bulbs began to be phased out in 2009, being replaced by compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which emit a poor light quality, which flicker and which reportedly cause many people to become dizzy and sick. New Zealand sensibly reversed its ban in December 2008.

With Wal-Mart and other stores selling millions of the CFL bulbs, scientists and environmentalists worry that too many will wind up in garbage dumps. When mercury accumulates in a landfill, it can rise into the air as vaporous methyl mercury, and from there into the food chain, say some scientists.

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) announced Feb. 11 he planned to introduce legislation in Congress to reverse the ban on incandescent bulbs. He has 27 co-sponsors. “Washington needs to stop picking winners and losers in the marketplace and micromanaging how Americans live their lives,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) a co-sponsor of the measure. He said “[I]t’s clear the nanny-state mentality has gotten out of control in Washington,”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published detailed instructions on what to do if a CFL bulb or fluorescent tube light bulb breaks in your home. Here are some of the worrisome guidelines:

Have people and pets leave the room, air out the room for 5-10 minutes, shut off heating or air-conditioning systems, collect the materials with stiff paper, cardboard or sticky tape or damp paper towels, place cleanup materials in a sealable container, promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container until materials can be disposed of properly, leave the heating/air conditioning system off for several hours.

It’s just that simple.

The EPA also says that, without the incandescent bulb, enough energy would be saved to take the equivalent of 800,000 cars off the roads and save 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas.

The eco-religious Union of Concerned Scientists predicts: If every American household replaced one light bulb with a CFL bulb it would prevent–not 9, but 90 billion–pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants and be the equivalent of taking—not 800,000 but 7.5 million–cars off the roads. When questioned about those claims, a spokesman not surprisingly could not confirm the figures.

If either extreme forecast doesn’t work out for the Obama administration, Barack can always blame George Bush. Ironically, for the first time, the blame would be correctly directed. It was during the Bush administration in 2007 that Congress passed the light bulb law. It was Democrats, however, who controlled Congress.

Pages: 1 2

  • Mike

    My understanding is that the Commerce Clause was intended to promote trade among the several srates.
    The end result of the abuse of the Commerce Clause is reduction of commerce – producing items in states for local use only.

    This should clarify how far we have strayed fron the original intent.

  • http://johnrussellturner.blogspot.com John

    For a good precis of the commerce clause to the US Constitution, go to:
    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Com

    I once drove an 18 wheeler across country, and after a few months of dealing with all the regulations imposed upon me and my employer, I realized the impact of this clause. Or should i say, the unintended consequences of it. In my opinion, The Founders made a mistake by putting this clause in the document. Repealing the commerce clause would free up a lot of entrepreneurial activity.

    • Doc

      I don't think you can blame the Founders for the commerce clause.

  • Amused

    I guess the US military is " eco -relgious " too . DOD has set 2020 as a goal to cut back energy wasting / use by 26% . Yea what do they know eh ? And to shift to JOBS …..INNOVATION , is what leads to more jobs , or will we decide to miss the boat again for political memes and partisan ideology rather than the science of it all ,and let the Chinese eat our lunch , as they are doing now with solar powered technology .Your argument Mike , and that of the naysayers is RIDICULOUS at best .

    • Doc

      Other than space exploration and military grade weapons, great innovations (and the jobs they create) are the product of the free market desire for profit. They are not created from some government contest and then the product supported by subsidy

  • Chris Nichols

    Text of the 10th Amendment:
    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    You do know that the Constitution had to be ratified by the states,right. I mean, why would the states ratify a document that relinquished their last bit of sovereignty to a centralized government? No, I guess you don't know that. I say that because I don't know what kind of obtuse moron would argue with a document written in plain language, or documented history.

    • patriot1789

      I agree with you up to a point. Remember that not all of the Founders wanted a republic, some even wanted another monarchy. So while the states would not KNOWINGLY relinquish their sovereignty, the enemies of a republic inserted seemingly helpful and harmless wording into the Constitution. This language was later used to destroy the republic.

      The power used by Congress is actually granted by the Constitution. However, the main implementing amendment was not put in until about 75 years later.

      It's true and if you want to refute it, I challenge you to go to my facebook and read "A Patriot's Thoughts" or if you can't locate it, email patriot1789 at Hotmail.

  • tagalog

    Just one thing on "states' rights." The Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that the POWERS not delegated to the federal government or prohibited to it by the Consitution, are reserved to the states or the people.

    Governments, including both the federal and the state governments, don't have rights. They have power.

    The people have rights.

    • Think About It!

      That, my friend is a VERY good point!!

      People are endowed by their creator with unalienable rights.

      Governments are endowed with whatever they have by THEIR creators.

      Those creators are none other than…(drum roll please)… WE THE PEOPLE.

      And WE THE PEOPLE have the right to take away those powers anytime we choose.

      The question is whether enough of us are willing to sacrifice enough to take the "food" out of the giant rat's mouth.

      It's amusing that Amused apparently likes being supervised by rats.

  • Amused

    Well there are what's called National Standards .And they encompass things like the wattage of coffee makers , minimun requirements for any big ticket consumer items like refrigerators and air conditioners , so if you want to make "light bulbs " a Staes Rights issue , go ahead , I can use a good chuckle . Maybe you guys could start a "cause-celbre " on the upcoming Attenuation laws , or the FCC recent regs on broadcast tv signals regarding HD . If you guys had your way , people would still need a coal shoot in their homes . Anti-Science , Anti-Energy Efficiency , Anti-Innovation ….whats next ? You people need to chill …BIGTIME , you're getting carried away with your BIG GOVERNMENT POLICE STATE memes .

    • Tom

      Do you not understand the implication of having millions (eventually billions) of these CFL bulbs discarded into the landfills (dumps). They have mercury in them which is one of the most toxic substances.

      "Mercury is such a highly reactive toxic agent that it is difficult to identify its specific mechanism of damage, and much remains unknown about the mechanism.[13] It damages the central nervous system, endocrine system, kidneys, and other organs, and adversely affects the mouth, gums, and teeth. Exposure over long periods of time or heavy exposure to mercury vapor can result in brain damage and ultimately death. Mercury and its compounds are particularly toxic to fetuses and infants. Women who have been exposed to mercury in pregnancy have sometimes given birth to children with serious birth defects (see Minamata disease).

      Mercury exposure in young children can have severe neurological consequences, preventing nerve sheaths from forming properly. Mercury inhibits the formation of myelin.

      There is some evidence that mercury poisoning may predispose to Young's syndrome (men with bronchiectasis and low sperm count)."

    • Thank About It!

      Amused, you would be amusing if it weren't for the fact that you are so obtuse it's sad.

      You fancy yourself a thinker but all you do is parrot the bureaucratic mantra.

      You remind me of a "clever, slippery fishy" I've bantered with. Is that you Dorchester?

      Your vaunted "National Standards" are the products of those very bureaucrats you apparently revere. Those standards don't magically become sacrosanct just because somebody wrote them.

      And they certainly don't deserve to be the guiding lights of everything else we ever do in life.

      Giggling, snickering and belittling those you disagree with is not the same as thinking.

      We are NOT "Anti-Science , Anti-Energy Efficiency , Anti-Innovation" and the source of all those is NOT your beloved government bureaucrats.

      It is the people that are trod upon by those same bureaucrats that are the source of everything Scientific, Energetic and Innovative.

      By the way… the word is "CHUTE" as in the chute down which coal travels to the coal bin.

      Now, go play nice with the other kiddies and don't hog all the Kool-Ade.

  • Amused

    BTW , if switching from incandesent bulbs is actually the equivelant in energy savings of taking 800,000 cars a year off the road , what in the hell have you got against that ? Are you sycophant/hacks for the oil industry ?

  • Peter

    Amused, you are an idiot!!! You apparently have no idea that the federal government is a creation of the states – not the other way around. And that the issue here isn't primarily one of which light bulb is better, but rather of individual freedom – of companies to make whichever product they want and for people to freely decide to buy, or not, those products. The idea of the U.S. was never that elites and their enablers (YOU) would make these decisions for everyone else. BTW, people who actually have a valid point to make never resort to ad hominem attacks like yours. Only losers and the evil do that. Which are you?

  • Amused

    Bullsheeet Peter , so much so , it's coming out of your ears . Go an join Perry of Texas in the "lightbulb war " , I 'm sure he's got a place for you .And you certainly fit the primary requirement ……STUPID .

    • Peter

      As is oh so typical for leftards, you of course didn't actually respond to any of the points I made, but rather resorted to your only weapon – insults. Come on Amused, you can do better than that. Or can you?

      • Think About It!

        Peter, it's obviously hopeless to try to reason with Mr. Chuckles.
        He showed his hand.
        Ridicule and insults are the last refuge of small minds.

        BTW… there's another ingredient in all this.

        CFL's actually cause nerve damage by way of the electro-magnetic radiation they put out and skin damage due to excess UV.
        New Zealand has lifted its ban on incandescent bulbs as a result of this information.

  • Don from B.C.

    Quite simply, if the price of electricity rises to the point that people are willing to switch from incandescent bulbs to CFLs, then let it happen that way. By banning the bulbs (which my Province is also doing as of Jan 1, 2012), all you do is artifically force the situation.

    In B.C., the push is so that we can sell our surplus energy to commercial and other non-residential entities so that B.C. Hydro can make more money (and by extension, the province as Hydro is a Crown Corporation). Well, I don't want mercury in my home. Period. And I don't like that fact its being jammed down my throat.

  • Amused

    How many buisinesses do you know of , that incorporate incandesent lighting ? Imagine that , and we dont even know how many flourescent bulbs may have crashed to the floor in those places . Gee , Hospitals too !! Doctors offices , and Surgery rooms !! ICU s ! College classrooms , schoolclassrooms , labs -all flourescent lights .
    What I would do is stock-up on incandesent lights and wait for innovation which will surely come quickly . I hate CFL 's but for a different reason . Not mercury , but the very type of light they emit .

  • kafir4life

    Wow! I've been asking for a while just how stupid someone would have to be to vote for Obama TWICE!! Thank you Amused for providing the answer.

  • patriot1789

    Please enlighten me as to why "States Rights is a LUDICROUS RED HERRING…".

    I would really like to know what a full-brained person like yourself thinks. Document reasons please.