National Center for Public Policy Research Reacts to One-Year Delay in Enforcement of De Facto Light Bulb Ban

Washington, D.C. – The following statement from Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, can be used for attribution:

Last night, House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative agreement for funding of the U.S. government in 2012 that includes a one-year prohibition on the enforcement of the infamous de facto light bulb ban.

This morning, new accounts quote angry businessmen who are frustrated at the idea that the federal government is — temporarily — not going to ban them from selling a popular product.

And Greenwire reported December 15 that ‘dozens of lighting manufacturers, efficiency groups and environmentalists’ sent a letter to Senators Wednesday containing this audacious whine: ‘Eliminating funding for light bulb efficiency standards is especially poor policy as it would leave the policy in place but make it impossible to enforce, undercutting domestic manufacturers who have invested millions of dollars in U.S. plants to make new incandescent bulbs that meet the standards.’

Welcome to the insanity of Crony Capitalism, in which Big Business spends millions to lobby Congress to force it to stop selling its own products, and then throws a hissy fit when their previously-satisfied customers revolt and the ban gets delayed.

Sorry you wasted your money, boys, but you started this.

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, whose own company is one of the top three — the others being Phillips and Osram Sylvania — identified as having lobbied for the de facto bulb ban when it was adopted in 2007, wondered aloud to CBS’s Lesley Stahl in October why any American wouldn’t want GE to be successful. Immelt told Stahl, ‘I want you to root for me. You know, everybody in Germany roots for Siemens. Everybody in Japan roots for Toshiba. Everybody in China roots for China South Rail. I want you to say, ‘Win, G.E.”

To Immelt, we say: We want GE and all American businesses to win when they aren’t undermining our freedoms. Stop running General Electric like a modern version of the East India Tea Company — which served up a large serving of government regulations along with its core product — and most Americans will be behind you.

In the meantime, stop lobbying to ban our bulbs.

Amy Ridenour has written op-eds on the de facto light bulb ban that appeared in over 35 newspapers and blogs in 2011 and is a frequent talk radio guest on the topic. Her most recent writing on the subject includes “Opponents of Light Bulb Ban Win a Big Round, But Battle Far from Over” and “Five Myths About the Federal Incandescent Light Bulb Ban.” She and her son Jonathan were featured in a January front-page New York Times article on the bulb ban. Jonathan is subject to seizures, which can be exacerbated by compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), a main alternative to incandescents.

The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving about one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions are welcome and greatly appreciated.


The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.