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Better Use of Light Bulbs Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 2417, the BULB Act. This bill does nothing to shed light on a bipartisan law that will save families money on their energy bills. In fact, this bill repeals that common-sense law.

A question has been circulating in the media regarding this bill lately--how many Members of the House does it take to change a light bulb?

The answer, at least in 2007, was 314--that's the number of House Members who voted for the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Of those 314 Members 95 were Republicans--so was the President who signed the bill into law.

Why? Because this was a good, common-sense idea: Let's make new light bulbs that use 25-30 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs by 2012, and 65 percent less by 2020.

For families, that means an average savings of $200 a year. In Hawaii, where we pay some of the highest energy prices in the country, families will save approximately $225. The Department of Energy estimates that these standards will save U.S. households nationally $6 billion in 2015 alone.

What's even better: Improving energy efficiency has also helped spur innovation on the part of U.S. manufacturers--creating an estimated 2,000 American jobs to date and giving Americans even More offerings to choose from when it comes to light bulbs.

That's right: Americans have even more choices when it comes to light bulbs. This bipartisan law did not outlaw any type of bulb.

Consumers can still choose to purchase the familiar looking bulbs that were initially invented by Thomas Edison--the only difference is that the new ones use up to 30 percent less electricity. So the idea that this bill is limiting consumer choice is simply false.

But there are many other benefits as well to improving the energy efficiency of our light bulbs: The National Resources Defense Council estimates that over the long-term these standards will save as much energy as produced by 30 large power plants each year. They will also help prevent 100 million tons of carbon dioxide from polluting our air annually.

So these standards will help to expand consumer choice, save families money, increase energy efficiency, lessen air pollution, and create jobs.

Given the state of the economy, it seems to me that instead of wasting time trying to repeal a law that has been such a success, we should be spending our time trying to pass more laws like it.

So I hope that we will short-circuit this ideologically driven legislation, and keep the lights on at the factories and in the homes of the people who are benefitting from these standards.

I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this legislation.

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