Friday, March 11, 2011

Smoke, Mirrors and Lightbulb Green

Nero fiddled while Rome burned is a historical reference, meaning to occupy oneself with unimportant matters and neglect priorities during a crisis. While we think we learn from history, more often than not, it seems to repeat itself over with different leaders and different issues. Right now an inordinate amount of time, anger and protest is being made about lightbulbs. Yes. That wonderful invention by Thomas Edison from over 100 years ago.

Beginning next year, a law from 2007 regarding more efficient lightbulbs will finally be enacted. The mandate calls for bulbs to be 25% more efficient. The trace amount of mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) is concerning to some, but there are other options, including halogen bulbs or LEDs, for those who are not comfortable using compact fluorescent bulbs. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency:
CFLs present an opportunity to prevent mercury from entering our air, where it most affects our health.  The highest source of mercury in our air comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal, the most common fuel used in the U.S. to produce electricity.  A CFL uses 75% less energy than an incandescent light bulb and lasts at least 6 times longer.  A power plant will emit 10mg of mercury to produce the electricity to run an incandescent bulb compared to only 2.4mg of mercury to run a CFL for the same time.
From the GovTrack site, an independent civic project to track Congress:
In 2007, an act to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes. 
H.R. 6:
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
110th Congress
2007-2008
Occurred: IntroducedJan 12, 2007
Occurred: Referred to CommitteeView Committee Assignments
Occurred: Reported by CommitteeJan 22, 2007
Occurred: Amendments (331 proposed)View Amendments
Occurred: Passed HouseJan 18, 2007
Occurred: Passed SenateJun 21, 2007
Occurred: Signed by PresidentDec 19, 2007


This bill became law. It was signed by George Bush.
The full text of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, with a specific notation to Title III, subtitle B, sections 321-325.



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