Chapter 8

The End of Incandescent Light


The EPA is nuts!

It is daylight as I write but there are still lights on in most homes in most cities in Pennsylvania. That really drives the EPA nuts. More than likely they are incandescent light bulbs. That too drives the EPA nuts. By now, the EPA is plenty nuts.

Over the years, the people have grown accustomed to the warm glow of the incandescent light bulb invented by Thomas Alva Edison. You may know that Edison was born in Ohio, a neighboring state to Pennsylvania and he grew up in Michigan. Edison invented so many things that were useful in his day and ours, that he received 1093 patents.

He lived the spirit of Americanism at a time when even Presidents enjoyed being American. Such exceptionalism was the order of the day in Edison’s time. There was much to be invented, and America was a welcoming place for inventors. Today Edison would need so many EPA permits to conduct his experiments, that he would be lucky to invent much of anything. 

The Obama EPA for example, as you may know, orders everybody around, including simple homeowners like you and I. The thinking around the EPA is that homeowners are culprits and are to blame for bad air, bad water, and a host of other maladies. One of our big sins is that we burn light bulbs. And, so by order of the EPA, in December 2011, all of us will learn the depth of the disdain the EPA has for home-town America. 


Figure 8-1 Thomas Edison – Source Internet Unknown

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No 100 watt incandescent light bulbs will be available for purchase in 2012. The EPA won this battle. Over the next few years, all incandescent light bulbs will be off the market. Selling and buying incandescent light bulbs will be against the law. Can you imagine the light bulb luminaries who get arrested and find themselves doing time in the big house on a light-bulb rap? After over 100 years, the EPA found out that light bulbs were bad for the health of Mother Nature. They are, by the way, OK for human nature. So, how did this happen?

Congress did it and Obama likes it

Obama’s EPA does not get the full whack on the notion that the incandescent light bulb is about to become illegal. Politicians in Washington, including our own from Pennsylvania voted for a goofy law in 2007 that banned cheap incandescent bulbs in favor of the more expensive and carcinogenic compact florescent bulbs (CFCs).

Obviously the people we elect think we cannot make good marketplace decisions in our day-to-day lives. So, Congress proposed and passed legislation to protect all of us dummies from ourselves. In mid 2011, Congress began to rethink the ban and brought it up again, even after the TEA party had cleansed the house of all of the supposed florescent lovers. Yet, the bill did not pass because of some unknown reason making me suggest that even the freshman in Congress need to be extricated in the next election. Who do they think they represent: morons? The 2010 elections brought with it representatives who do not trust their constituents. It’s time to repay the favor.

What is wrong with consumer choice and soft yellow lighting or less expensive incandescent light bulbs? Why every home should instead be subjected to the unnatural, office-like white light of Chinese-made pricey mini fluorescents confounds the logical mind. Have even Republicans given in to the Nanny State?

The most annoying proponent of the light-bulb ban by the EPA is the Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. This guy is not with most Americans on the notion of needing government to make decisions in our every-day lives. Chu loves the notion that all Americans get to buy their lightbulbs from China instead of America. Imagine him saying these words as he did, and you will have his speech verbatim:

“We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.”

Obviously, Chu likes the notion of Big Brother as the government can preselect everything for the dumb citizens and of course illegals, also so there is no guesswork for the feeble brained population. Government will do the selecting and it will be perfect.

One time Senator John Warner (R–VA) thinks Chu is spot on and he offers his thoughts on the one time potentiality of repealing the 2007 law. : “We’ll be dropping backwards in America’s need to become more energy-efficient.”

Jim Presswood, who is with the environmental activist group, Natural Resources Defense Council, has his own perspective: “Clearly, consumers, the economy and the environment will suffer if these standards are repealed.” His organization claims that the ban would save consumers $85 per year. So, let me ask, what is the real cost of freedom if a piece of it can be purchased for less than $100.00 per year? Is freedom worth the price-tag in dollars or must it be in blood?

Let me ask you this one question: Do you think our forefathers came to America so that some bureaucrat someplace could make all of their decisions for them? Do you think that either government is much better today or do you think that people are more incompetent? What is the rationale for government being the sole arbiter as to what is good and what is bad for the public? What does the public get to say? Will government actually punish those who break the rules?

So, when the stores run out of incandescent bulbs, and since they are not making them anymore, must we all switch from these simple and cheap light-bulbs that we now use to expensive, dangerous halogen or fluorescent bulbs? Is this an order from the government?

The EPA says these new expensive Chinese-built bulbs are OK but incandescent bulbs are bad. OK, they don’t really say it exactly that way but it sure sounds like it. What they say is that the 100 watt bulb cannot be sold any more as of January 1, 2012. So, shop for all you can while you can. Over the next two years, 75, 60, and 40 watt bulbs will no longer be able to be sold. 

The law is being phased in over the next three years. Here are the dates when you must be ready to change your bulbs if they burn out. Thank the EPA or kill them!

According to the EPA, the second part of the law requires that most light bulbs be 60-70% more efficient than the standard incandescent today; this will go into effect in 2020. Many compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and many Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) can meet this requirement today, shaving energy usage compared to standard incandescent bulbs by 75%.

What the EPA doesn’t tell you is that these new bulbs are very expensive and there are special procedures to assure your family is safe if one of them breaks. So, don’t break one.

Why is this law needed and how does it benefit consumers?

This is direct from the EPA site: “EISA is eliminating unnecessarily wasteful products from the market.”

Should we be pleased?  EISA is the name of the congressional act but we know that the 2007 act is a brain child of the EPA. I have a question for you. Did you ask for the EISA or the EPA or Congress or anybody to unilaterally eliminate unnecessarily wasteful products? I did not ask them either. I think the iPad is unnecessary. Will that be banned eventually? If not, Why not?

This is just another big intrusion of big Obama government in the lives of regular people. If you don’t see enough of him on TV, wait until Obama is in your doctor’s office! He is already in your light fixtures. The Obama intrusions are not fully appreciated, but when all the pictures in the Doctor’s office are replaced with pictures of Obama you will know what Obamacare really means. It will be a lot more Obama than care… but that is another book.  

Perhaps the EPA guerrillas will take the time to visit your neighborhood and mine to see if there are any other issues. Maybe you are an energy perpetrator and you keep certain of your lights on too long? Maybe you use too many garbage bags. Maybe your dog excretes amounts that are dangerously over the farm manure limit?  What’s next? Don’t worry!  Obama has a few surprises in store and you’ll see them when the thousands of regulations that are being held for campaign reasons are released once the big election is over and the campaigner in chief emerges again as our president.

GE, Thomas Edison and Jeffrey Immelt

By now, many Americans have heard of Jeffrey Immelt, the head of General Electric, the company originally created by Thomas Edison. Founded in 1890 as the Edison General Electric Company, the company merged with the Thomson-Houston Company, its major competitor, in 1892. The name of the new company became the General Electric Company.

Jeffrey Immelt is no Thomas Edison. He couldn’t tie Edison’s shoes. Yet, over the last year or so, Immelt has served as Obama’s Job’s Czar. Despite all the tax credits gained by GE for its green jobs program and its friendship with Obama, in all the years since Edison, the mighty GE has been unable to figure out how to make a better incandescent light bulb in America—one that meets the Obama EPA standards displayed above. That’s almost as hard to believe as the EPA telling us we can’t use these light bulbs anymore.

So, since GE could not meet the government standard, it is taking its light bulb manufacturing business overseas along with a lot of other jobs, even some that may be giving a few defense secrets to the Chinese. But, hey, Obama wants all countries to compete equally so for him, helping the Chinese develop better weaponry may be good. It is also possible that President Obama did not tell Mr. Immelt that the jobs he created as the “Jobs Czar” were supposed to be US-based and Obama was looking for net gains-- not net losses in jobs. But, then again maybe Obama thinks Immelt is doing fine.

Despite Americans not really wanting to give up any rights to any US agencies, in the fall of 2010, the EPA agency’s regulations forced the last major GE factory that was making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States to close.  This factory was around for most of the time from the 1870’s when Edison first shed light on all subjects. GE admitted that a lot of the jobs at the facility were already gone when the remaining 200 workers at the plant lost their jobs in 2010.

In 2011, most Americans know that GE had some good fortune. It got some extra funding from taxpayers – about $7 billion dollars in tax credits, rebates, and in gifts. One would think GE would be motivated to set off a boom of industrial activity and job growth in the U.S. by taking the $7 billion tax refund bonanza and using it to create and then manufacture whatever the EPA required as the replacement for the incandescent light bulb.

Hey even if they sold bulbs for a slight loss, GE would still be way ahead. Why did they not do that? Did Obama tell them to go to China to make the world a fairer place in which to compete? Since 60% of Americans agree that Obama does not hate America, is it a fair question to ask if Obama really wants America to win? Don’t forget that 40% of Americans think the President actually hates us all.

Let me rephrase my negative rant from above. No matter what it happened to be, since $7 billion came from taxpayer pockets, why would the Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt, the head of GE, the guy who was gifted with $7 Billion from the pockets of US taxpayers not build the replacement bulb, if it needed to be built, in America. A lot of American plants could have been built for the $7billion. A corollary to that question is “Why did Obama not fire him as the Jobs czar?” Maybe Obama does not like manufacturing jobs in America?

Regardless, GE makes its own decisions and it chose not to invest in America.  Thank you GE. I know I will buy any product, including light-bulbs, from any company other than GE. Actions have consequences. Don’t bother stamping GE on anything anymore for it will not motivate me one iota to buy it.

Many of us are learning that the class of light-bulb favored by the EPA is known as a compact florescent or CFL. Unfortunately, the EPA is not in the Jobs business and they have been rightfully accused of killing a lot of jobs. It doesn’t seem to bother them. In this case, the leading replacement bulbs for incandescent bulbs are made entirely overseas, mostly in China. How can Obama claim he has a jobs bill when he cares nothing about real jobs in real businesses?

So, all of America’s light-bulbs now will come from China, and the bulbs will not be incandescent. They will mostly be CFL’s.  Maybe this is good news for Obama, but not for me. The bulbs made by GE will also be made in GE’s many China plants.

To be cynical about it, and we should be, the brainiacs in Congress, the White-house, and the inglorious EPA have no problem forcing Americans to stop using US products so they can buy products made in foreign countries. Pat Doyle, 54, a former GE worker, who put in 26 years working at this plant, summed it up. “First, we were sold out by the government. Then we were sold out by GE.”


Figure 8-2 GE Plant Once Operating Test the bulbs

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We can blame this on the cronyism and the corruption of the Obama regime and the worst Senate of all time--the 111thand 112th.  Add the fact that the EPA has learned how to be Obama’s chief enforcer and you have enough reasons for why there are no jobs in America-- so stop the search.

Back when Edison was innovating in the 1800’s, he had the freedom to invent and manufacture because the government back then respected the Constitution. Many jobs were created from Edison’s inventions. Today, the Obama EPA has the power to inhibit liberty and freedom and invention.  And it has the power to ship jobs overseas. It is ridiculous but it is true.  Regulations are just one of the ways the Obama regime, with Senator Bob Casey’s full concurrence, is dismantling America, and assuring we have high unemployment for a long time. 

You see, the Obama EPA and most regulators do not like inventions because most require power.

Regulators do not like anything powered by anything. They don’t even like humans from Pennsylvania or Ohio or Montana needing to burn anything just to be warm in the winter or to be able to see to read. 

The EPA has found that human breath contains a noxious gas that also needs to be banned.  No, it is not garlic. It is CO2, and I wish I were kidding.  There are elements in the EPA, who because of their zeal for a nature-first, human-last environment, are also for population control. They believe that, because of his very existence on the planet, man is a major polluter. They would love to reduce the footprint of mankind on this planet so it can be safe for animals, insects, and even some nasty flora and fauna.

Blaming people for exhaling gives those in the population control circles more reasons for wanting less and less people on earth. Some suggest the EPA won’t be happy until 90% of humans disappear from the planet. Knowing that, it makes me question the EPA’s motivations for any of their often silly regulations.

What if humans have no breath?  Don’t worry!  They’re not going to take us off the planet that easy. I don’t think the “Ban Breath Act” would pass Congress.  Even the most corrupt politicians still have to breathe. 

That’s not all that the “blame America first crowd” of far left progressives find fault with today. They find people, especially American people to be major polluters and therefore responsible for most of the earth’s global warming problems. They worship Al Gore as if his bad breath and his bad medicine is from a prophet. For returning their love, Al Gore has picked up over a hundred million dollars in net worth since leaving the vice presidency. And since I cannot verify it either way, I would suspect his breath is no better.

As much as the environmentalists love Al Gore, they must have a great disdain for the legacy of Thomas Edison and of course for Philadelphia’s own Ben Franklin. Considering that Franklin is one of those credited with discovering electricity through his lightening & kite experiments, he would not be in the favor of the EPA.

With the work of some other scientists, who helped to perfect electricity for major uses, Thomas Edison never could have invented the incandescent light bulb in the first place without Franklin’s electricity. The ban on incandescent light bulbs would be unnecessary if there were no electricity. Of course that also means that Americans would not have to begin to buy light-bulbs from China next year—again if there were no electricity. How far back to nature does the EPA want us to go? We know that teepees are out because paintings of early America show smoke coming out of the teepees—again because humans occupied these dwellings.

Concluding thoughts

Let’s end this chapter about the end of incandescent light with some thoughts from Jack Cafferty of CNN, a certifiable liberal / progressive. Cafferty is often going after the wrong causes but he is right on in his analysis of this one about GE and Jeffrey Immelt.

Remember, Jeffrey Immelt is the CEO of GE, the one time maker of Edison’s incandescent light bulbs. It is also the company that moved its light bulb business from the US to china in 2010 because of the EPA’s banning of incandescent light, it.

Once companies find they can offshore with impunity—moving jobs to China and they still make a big buck and still get big tax breaks from Obama, they have a tendency to keep doing it. Corporations are not in business to please presidents or any other American.

Let’s say the EPA forced them to learn how to get by without Americans and they learned so well, they can do it well on their own now without any help from EPA bans.

Hold on to your hats. GE is moving its X-ray business to China, and that is driving CNN’s Jack Cafferty nuts. In Cafferty’s words:

“Here is more evidence of the suicide mission this country is on: General Electric announced it's moving its 115-year-old X-ray business from Waukesha, Wisconsin to Beijing, China. The X-ray business is part of General Electric's GE Healthcare unit, and this move is just part of a broader plan by GE to invest $2 billion in China.

This will become the first GE business to be headquartered there. A handful of the unit's top executives will be transferred to China but otherwise, the company says, none of the 150 staffers in the Milwaukee-area facility will lose jobs or be transferred. However, GE plans to hire more than 65 engineers and a support staff at a new facility in China.”

Cafferty can’t get over that General Electric's Chief Executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is one of President Obama's advisers on U.S. job creation! Obama picked Immelt, a self-described Republican, hoping to have a man in the Jobs seat that could help in negotiating with the Republican-controlled House on a number of important items such as deficit reduction, jobs programs, and health care.

Overall, it has been a bad PR move for Obama but the President has stuck with it for some reason. On top of moving much of its business to China, and of course no trade secrets will go with the move, GE paid no income taxes last year and it qualified for a huge $3 billion tax credit. In other words, taxpayers paid GE for operating its business.

Because he was so irate on this, Cafferty opened it up for comments from the public. Since GE has basically turned off the lights and closed the door on America, I will close this section of the final thoughts with some of the comments from Americans, which Cafferty accepted when he asked this question about GE: 

“Here’s my question to you: General Electric is moving its X-ray business to China. What message does this send Americans?” Some of the ones that made it on the air include the following:

“Brad in Portland, Oregon:   It tells the U.S. that free trade is a scam, and we need to have fair trade instead. It's too easy for companies to outsource to China and bring the goods and services back to the U.S. with few restrictions. We need to have tariffs on imports to account for the difference in labor costs between the two countries, and then China can compete with American manufacturers on the basis of quality instead of cheap labor.”

“Donna:  Does anyone see a conflict of interest here? Why would a corporate chief executive move an arm of his business to China when he is responsible for jobs in America? I find it outrageous!”

“Lori in Pennsylvania:  It says that U.S. company executives and stock holders are greedy, and want to share as little of the profits they make as possible. I guess the national debt crisis hasn't opened their eyes as to what happens when millions of average citizens don't have a paying job.”

“D.W. in St. Louis, Missouri:  Thanks for all the tax breaks, Suckers!”