ATR President Grover Norquist sent the following letter to Rep. Barton:

"On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform, I would like to thank you for introducing H.R. 2417, the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act. Thankfully, this legislation will put an end to the onerous efficiency standards mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which amounted to a de-facto ban on incandescent light bulbs. The BULB Act restores consumer choice, fosters free-market competition, and prevents the government from picking winners and losers.

In 2007, when Washington lawmakers attempted to phase out the more popular incandescent bulbs in favor of bulbs with higher “efficiency standards,” they did not consider the possibility that these mandates could only be met through the purchase of bulbs with high levels of mercury. This type of unintended consequence is a common occurrence when the government interferes with private enterprise. Nanny-state solutions usually end up doing more harm than good, and the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs proved no exception to this rule.

The efficiency standards mandated by the Energy and Independence Security Act are set to kick in January of 2012. If Congress acts quickly and passes the BULB Act, millions of Americans can be spared from this destructive energy policy.

The BULB Act is a commonsense initiative that should receive bipartisan support, as it protects consumers in two important ways. Firstly, it eliminates burdensome efficiency standards that will limit personal freedom and favor certain light bulb technologies over others. Secondly, the legislation ensures that no federal, state, or local lighting requirement can mandate the use of bulbs that contain mercury in the future.

It is refreshing to see lawmakers in Washington promoting – not restricting – consumer choice. Thank you for remembering that a competitive market cannot function in an environment of Orwellian mandates and government interference. ATR eagerly awaits final passage of this bill so that families and small businesses can decide on the cost, type, and efficiency of light bulb that works best for their own needs."

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