* Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I am compelled to rise in strong opposition to H.R. 2417, the ``Better Use of Light Bulbs Act.'' I oppose the ``Bulb Act'' because it is costly to taxpayers, harmful to the environment and an impediment to technological innovation. In short, H.R. 2417, the ``Bulb'' act should be rejected. It is unnecessary and, to put it simply, not a bright idea.
* Mr. Speaker, this legislation is a thinly veiled attempt to reverse the advances made by the ``Energy Independence and Security Act,'' passed by the Democratic controlled 111th Congress. In fact, the original 2007 light bulb efficiency language was co-sponsored by Rep. Upton, R-Mich., and then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Ill. Of the 95 Republicans who originally voted for the new energy standards in 2007, 55 of them remain in office, including the current chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee and several members of the Republican leadership. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton and Republican leaders Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Peter Roskam and Pete Sessions. It was a good idea then and is a good idea now. I was proud to vote for that bill and oppose this effort to undo it.
* Mr. Speaker, the ``Energy and Independence Act'' did not ban incandescent bulbs; it spurred innovation and economic growth. This growth is put at risk by H.R. 2417. In my home state of California, light bulb standards have spurred innovation and economic growth. It does this not by banning incandescent bulbs, but rather investing in innovative technologies such as advanced incandescent, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDS). These policies translate into significant cost savings for American households; H.R. 2417 does not.
* Second, the energy efficiency standards threatened by H.R. 2417 translate into huge cost savings for Americans. The standards would save American families, businesses and the country more than $12.5 billion annually, reducing Americans' energy costs by an average of 7 percent or about $85 per household each year. In California, standards have already resulted in tens of billions of dollars in utility bill savings for its citizens.
* Studies have documented that energy efficient bulbs would save the average California household $125 a year, while the reliance on inefficient bulbs would cost consumers $35.6 million in unnecessary and unreasonably higher electricity bills.
* Mr. Speaker, this bill is harmful to the environment. The efficiency standards that H.R. 2417 would repeal have been shown to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, it is not surprising that H.R. 2417 is strongly opposed by environmental groups like Environment America, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Fund. They understand the detrimental, long-term effects that a repeal of H.R. 2417 would have on our environment, and what that means for the quality of life of our children and families nationwide.
* Efficient light bulbs decrease the level of harmful air pollution by 100 million tons of carbon pollution per year. That is the equivalent to the emissions of 17 million cars. H.R. 2417 would dismantle what have proven to be successful efforts at reducing harmful emissions associated with much-needed energy production and job creation.
* Finally, and most importantly, H.R. 2417 will impede new job creation in America. The new standards that H.R. 2417 would repeal are already prompting manufacturers to build new U.S. plants. Nationally, more than 2,000 jobs have already been created at new factories across the country, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and my home state, California. We need to adopt policies that will create jobs, not jeopardize them as H.R. 2417 does.
* Mr. Speaker, H.R. 2417 is a dim idea that should not see the light of day. Because I am focused on spurring innovation, conserving energy, protecting the environment and creating jobs, I strongly oppose H.R. 2417, and urge my colleagues to do likewise.