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Bill fought by rare industry consensus on CFLs

26 March 2008

Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann has introduced the “Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act” to Congress to attempt to repeal the nationwide phase-out of incandescent bulbs. Representative Bachmann bases her bill on the belief that global warming is “voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax” and that the mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs is more harmful to the environment. I recently posted about the mercury debate, but the Star Trib article had some great perspectives from experts that I wanted to share:

The electrical and manufacturing industries, in a rare alliance with environmentalists, portray Bachmann’s mercury concerns as overblown. They argue that fluorescent lights actually reduce mercury emissions in the long run. That’s because the new bulbs use so much less electricity, much of which is produced by burning coal, which emits greenhouse gases and mercury.

“That’s not just the industry talking,” said Mark Kohorst of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. “That’s an accepted aspect of these products, and that’s why they’ve been promoted so heavily.”

“There is 200 times more mercury in each filling in Congresswoman Bachmann’s teeth than there is in a compact fluorescent light bulb,” said Julia Bovey, a spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

As for Bachmann’s contention that global warming is a “fad,” she seems to be taking a political standpoint rather than a scientific one. Global warming is a fact, and a scary one at that – but we can all make a difference when we use less energy and reduce our carbon footprints. Which you can learn how to do (and learn how to save money in your home as well) with the Minnesota Energy Challenge!

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