Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Better bulbs are a bright idea — mandate is not
Our view: Power-saving new varieties of light bulb have wide-ranging benefits — not least of which is cutting utility bills — but not every good idea needs a mandate from Congress to back it up.
Lloyd Levine is laughing last.
The Los Angeles assemblyman won national mockery early this year when he introduced a bill to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of more energy-efficient lamps. His bill died in the state Legislature.
But politics is as twisty as a compact fluorescent bulb, and last week President Bush signed Congress’ energy bill, which includes new lighting standards that will phase out the sale of old-fashioned bulbs not just in California but throughout the United States.
By 2020, under the law, bulbs will have to use 70 percent less power per lumen of light. That standard greatly favors curly-tubed compact fluorescent bulbs, but it also allows manufacturers to hone other technologies — semiconducter-based LEDs, halogen bulbs, even high-efficiency incandescents that General Electric is developing. (Partisans of filaments’ warm glow will look forward to the last.)
With the multiplying options, we half-expect that shoppers will soon need a community college certificate just to buy light bulbs, but the push for energy efficiency makes a lot of sense.
Whether you’re worried about global warming and fossil fuels, grousing about the utility bill, or unhappy about windmills sprouting all over your favorite ridgetop, using less electricity is part of the solution. And if technology lets us do that while changing a light bulb instead of our lifestyles, it’s hard to see the downside to cutting the waste.
Not every good idea needs to become a government mandate, though, and it’s irksome to see lawmakers interfere in mundane consumer choices.
With new technologies offering more and better choices to bulb buyers, they don’t need Congress’ opinion about what to put in the shopping cart — any more than they seek Wally Herger’s advice about digital cameras.
The notion that the government should leave us alone glows dimly these days. Maybe it was turned down to save energy.ctxt_ad_interface = 'http://cm.npc-scripps.overture.com/js_1_0/'; ctxt_ad_width = 420 ; ctxt_ad_height = 150; ctxt_ad_source = 'npc_scripps_redding_t2_ctxt'; ctxt_ad_config = '7894763060'; ctxt_ad_id = 'opinion'; ctxt_ad_type = 'opinion'; ctxt_ad_url = window.location.href ; ctxt_css_url = 'http://media.scrippsnewspapers.com/yahoo/yahoo_cm.css' ;