Of all the wingers in Congress, few are as hardcore as Representative Joe Barton (R-TX). How Hardcore into the wingnuttery is ol’ Smokey Joe, one may wonder. When he’s not apologizing to BP for the billions in dollars of damage it caused to Gulf, Smokey Joe can be seen calling Newt Gingrich one the Smartest people ever. These things are certainly bad. But when it comes to Smokey Joe, this ain’t nothing.
Barton is so hardcore that not only has he called Anthropogenic Global Warming a Hoax made up by tricksy scientists, which is par for the course in the fever swamps, but ol “Smokey Joe goes even farther. He believes in “Global Cooling Theory.” When the pointy-headed scientist say global warming is real, Smokey Joe refudiates them by believing in the opposite. Now that’s Hardcore.
Now Smokey Joe is at it again. He’s on a Light Bulb Jihad:
In a move that could be called anything but conservative, Republican lawmakers are set to bring a bill to the House floor next week that will repeal state and municipal rights to set efficiency standards for lightbulbs. The bill would unravel a piece of federal legislation that was strongly supported by lightbulb manufacturers and has spurred innovation in the lighting industry.
The bill, sponsored by Texas Republican Joe Barton, would strip away any "federal, state or local requirement or standard regarding energy efficient lighting" that uses lightbulbs containing mercury. In other words, all compact fluorescent bulbs.
Remember, in May, Barton denied there was any "medical negative" from mercury emitted from coal power plants. Now he fancies himself a protector of the public from a vastly smaller source of potential mercury poisoning. The reality: There is an extremely small amount of mercury in CFL bulbs. Even after more than eight hours of exposure, mercury levels are equal [PDF] to eating a six ounce can of tuna,
But that's not what this is really about.
Barton's bill targets the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, which increases the efficiency of incandescent lightbulbs by 27 percent through 2014. It was a completely noncontroversial bill that had bipartisan support, was strongly supported by lightbulb manufacturers (and still is), and was signed into law by George W. Bush.
"When this bill was passed, it was passed by people who knew how to make lightbulbs," says Randall Moorhead, vice president of government affairs at Philips, a leading lightbulb producer. "Everyone supported it. And since then, it's created more choice for consumers -- we have two incandescent bulbs on the market that weren't there before."
But in an effort to score political points in the 2012 election cycle, Republican lawmakers have made patently false statements about the law, calling it a ban on incandescent lightbulbs.
If just a third of the 4.4 billion medium screw-based light sockets around the country were replaced with new, efficient incandescent light bulbs, one third with compact fluorescents, and one third with LED bulbs, the annual savings could be more than $12 billion a year, says
"The economics work out extremely well for the consumer," he explains.
The American Council on an Energy Efficient Economy says that the standards would eliminate the need [PDF] to develop 30 new power plants -- or about the electrical demand of
Pennsylvaniaand combined. Tennessee
Smokey would rather have red-blooded Americans dependant on the Mad Mullahs of Iran for their energy needs instead of be able to switch to a more efficient light bulb.
You have to start wondering whose side he’s on. Does he stand with American Consumers or the terrorizers? Hard to tell, really.
In a perfect world, the FEMA run internment camps that Barton’s