Ethan A. Huff
May 12, 2011
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Federal plans to outlaw common incandescent light bulbs in favor of mercury-laden compact fluorescents over the course of the next three years may not end up applying to South Carolinians. Senate panel members in the Palmetto State recently voted unanimously in favor of the Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, also known as H 3735, which will permit incandescent light bulbs made in the state to be sold within the state, and largely exempt South Carolina from the draconian federal restrictions on freedom of light bulb choice.
H 3735 cites both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution in its defense of the incandescent light bulb, noting specifically that the states, and the people of those states, are guaranteed the freedom to buy and sell the light bulbs of their choice when interstate commerce is not involved. Additionally, those powers not specifically spelled out in the US Constitution as belonging to the federal government are strictly reserved for the states, which includes any restrictions on what citizens can and cannot buy and sell.
H 3735 states clearly that “light bulbs manufactured in (South Carolina), without significant parts imported from another state, and offered for sale and sold for use only in (South Carolina) are deemed only to be in the stream of intrastate commerce and therefore not subject to federal regulation under the commerce clause of the United States Constitution”
The next stop for H 3735 is the South Carolina House, which will debate and vote on the bill in the very near future. Similar legislation has been introduced in other states, including one in Arizona last year, but all those eventually failed.
Meanwhile, promises made that compact fluorescent bulbs will save consumers money and be gentler on the environment have proven to be lies, as overall energy savings have been minimal, according to reports. And unlike incandescents, compact fluorescents are highly toxic, and could end up costing thousands of dollars in cleanup costs if shattered inside the home.