Oldie but goodie: Bachmann is against flourescent light bulbs

This is about a year old, but among Bachmann’s incredibly important work in Congress was a (failed) bill to stop a program phasing out incandescent lightbulbs in favor of flourescent ones. Judging by this Strib article, her main objection appears to be “freedom,” to wit, we all deserve the freedom to choose what kind of bulbs we use.

“I was just outraged that Congress would want to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the American people,” she said. “It struck me as a massive Big Brother intrusion into our homes and our lives.

By this logic, it’s also anti-freedom to restrict who can purchase things like uranium and marijuana. And how dare the government tell us whether we should be allowed to drink and drive?!?!?!

She also argues that mercury used in the flourescent bulbs is a concern, even though both the lighting industry and the environmentalist mainstream disagree.

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.”

Whatever one’s views on global warming, Kohorst said, the energy savings of fluorescent lights are real. “The lamp thing has merit,” he said. “Unfortunately, [Bachmann] has lumped it in with this whole conspiracy thing.”

Environmentalists are more emphatic in downplaying the mercury hazards of fluorescent bulbs, which they say are minimal.

“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.

“It’s almost as if you have to call the haz-mat team out to your home,” Bachmann said.

With the number of kids she has/had, we’re not sure why Bachmann is so against saving energy. Turn off the lights, kids! We’re not made of money!


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