Pioneer Press: Bachmann reintroduces Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act

Mar 3, 2011 Issues: Energy Independence
(Source: Dennis Lien, Pioneer Press)

Rep. Michele Bachmann is back with her light-bulb choice bill.

Bachmann, the Republican from Minnesota's 6th District, said Wednesday that she has reintroduced her Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act in the U.S. House.

It would repeal a portion of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act that phases out traditional incandescent light bulbs for more energy-efficient ones over the next several years. Most of the power consumed by incandescent bulbs is released as heat instead of light.

Two years ago, Bachmann led an unsuccessful effort to get the government to reconsider that approach.

Democrats controlled Congress then, but now Republicans are in charge of the House, giving the tea party favorite a potentially more receptive audience.

"The government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy,'' Bachmann said in a statement.

"This mandate has sweeping effects on American families and businesses and needs serious consideration before taking effect,'' she added.

Bachmann said her bill also would provide an opportunity to examine whether assertions that newer bulbs would help consumers save money, would reduce carbon dioxide emissions and would not cause health risks are true.

A highly visible critic of big government, Bachmann has been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for president.

"The American people want less government intrusion into their lives, not more, and that includes staying out of their personal light-bulb choices," she said.

A similar effort is under way in Minnesota.

In January, Republican lawmakers introduced legislation establishing that incandescent bulbs manufactured in Minnesota and not sent to other states aren't subject to federal law. They said the Ninth and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution guarantee a state's right to provide such protections.

The legislation hasn't made any progress yet in the state House and Senate.