The new energy bill signed by President Bush includes provisions mandating that traditional incandescent light bulbs be phased out of use in our country in the next five years.
Somehow I don't think the Founding Fathers envisioned a free country forbidding citizens from using lighting methods not approved by Congress.
Because Congressionally approved compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs contain mercury, U.S. News and World Report suggests, in all seriousness, that in future homeowners put drop cloths under lights which are being changed, to make cleaning up the hazardous waste from possible light bulb breakage easier.
You've got to love it when the simple act of changing a light bulb turns into a construction-type project involving drop cloths and fears of hazardous waste.
The up side is that comedy writers will have a lot of new material for "screwing in a light bulb" jokes.
Unfortunately, the new "light bulb law" included in the energy bill is a joke, too. I'm disappointed that President Bush has signed the bill.
If the CFL bulbs are truly as good -- and good for us -- as Congress insists, the free market would have naturally gravitated to adopting the light bulbs. Instead we have the nanny staters wagging their fingers and insisting we use the light bulbs they think are best...and ironically, there have been plenty of questions raised about whether the CFL bulbs are truly the environmentally friendly bargains they're supposed to be.
Previously: February 2007.