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Opening Arguments

Dim bulbs

Another milestone in the annals of government "job creation":

WINCHESTER, VA. - The last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month, marking a small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s.

The remaining 200 workers at the plant here will lose their jobs.

 [. . .]

What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.

And those 200 jobs are going to -- guess where -- China! With all the billions and billions government wastes and the countless gigantic ways it abuses power, it's often the small things that gall the most. The combination of arrogance and ignorance that makes the idiots in Washington think they should dictate what light bulbs we use and how many flushes our toilets should make still astounds me.


tim zank
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 1:39pm

This is a perfect example of what government "regulation" accomplishes and why we "conservatives" keep screaming for a smaller government. Everything they touch turns into a cluster fark.

It's not a hard and fast dem/repub thing either, it's an incumbent, over reaching bureaucracy that needs to be dismantled.

Would one our regular liberal contributors to this blog please defend this?

Bob G.
Thu, 09/09/2010 - 2:58pm

Bravo, Leo...WELL said!
And props to Tim for saying it as it IS as well.

What MY gripe about this incandescent-to-fluorescent "efficiency" BS is that the damn NEW (fluorescent) bulbs are a crapload MORE TOXIC than ALL the incandescents that have ever been produced!!!

The gov't doesn't even WANT to tell you about THAT...do they?

These new bulbs are about AS "GREEN "as the Love Canal, when you stop to think about it.
And they're in OUR HOMES and near our KIDS.

What a SCAM.

Good post, Leo.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 10:13am

Incandescent bulbs are prodigious energy-wasters. Using lots of them requires burning more coal to make electricity. Burning (and mining) more coal destroys our land and fouls our air.
Libertarians don't seem to think in terms of the long haul. Some laws are useful. This isn't just a matter of the government having a bizarre hatred of light bulbs.
But it would be nice if GE would make it compact fluorescents here in the US. I think we can agree that some targeted tax cuts could encourage them to do just that.
Even our windmills, solar panels and hybrid car batteries tend to be imported from Asia. Obama has made noises about making it more attractive to make them here. I hope he follows through (and the Republicans don't filibuster the attempt, just so they can say they stymied Obama).

john b. kalb
Fri, 09/10/2010 - 11:14am

Do you shop at Krogers? If so, check this out:
60 Watt General Electric incandescent light bulbs marked "Made in Mexico" right next to Everyday Value brand, made in Cleveland, Ohio - Exact same specs - but the Everyday Value brand are at A LOWER PRICE!!!

Years ago, I visited a G.E. lamp plant in a suburb of Cleveland and saw four editions of lamp assembly machines - the newer one producing over twice as many bulbs per hour as the older ones. I'll bet that G.E. sold these at auction to an entrepreneur who is using them to continue to make incandescent light bulbs - IN CLEVELAND!!!

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 4:57pm

Thanks. As a Kroger shopper, I'll keep that in mind.
Although I don't know where their bulbs are made, you might want to check out this site:
They offer an extaordinary array of high-efficiency bulbs at really low prices. If you're converting your home to all-fluorescent, as I did a year or so ago, this is the least expensive way to go. They tend to deliver in less than a week. And yes, it makes a significant difference in your electric bill. And you can feel good about pumping less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to keep your home lighted. A win-win, as I see it.
We can offset the destruction of the planet that Mr. Morris apparently favors.

Ron Richards
Thu, 09/16/2010 - 8:30am

I used to work at the plant in Winchester, I left three years ago when the writing was on the wall. The bulbs you find in your grociery store, drug store, dollar store, sams club, Walmart with private labels were all made in this plant in Winchester (some are also made in Mex) that is closing on September 25th. After this plant closes you will see no more made in the USA. They are disassembling the plant and sending the lamp making equipment to Mexico so they can make more of them in there. The sad thing is this plant in Winchester was able to figure out how to make these incadescent bulbs lead-free to make them better for the landfills. The plant in Mexico that will be making them has not been able to successfully make them lead free. This plant in Winchester was the best running incandescent plant in the whole GE Lighting business. They refused to bring in new product lines and keep the plant alive - they only wanted to out source it to China. This is all a C-level executive move to line their pockets in the name of the shareholder.

I agree with what's been said here in terms of toxicity - CFLs are terrible and the life that is claimed on these CFLs is a load of crap. I have relamped my home with them and I cannot even get a year out of them. Let alone 7 years that is claimed on the packaging. Also, don't put CFLs on a dimmer switch unless you want a fire. A CFL is actually less efficient than an incandescent when dimmed and they are know to get hot enough to catch fire.

The next wave will be LED bulbs which will be the best of both worlds. They could have been made here in the US, but don't count on it. They'd rather make them in China and pay half the lamp/bulb cost in shipping and not have employees on the rolls that would require benefits.