Many Americans want to keep incandescent light bulbs

Kansas City StarJuly 8, 2011 

James Hartley sees liberty in his light bulbs.

He’s been stockpiling traditional incandescent bulbs for almost two years. So far he’s collected more than 300.

He said he’ll keep buying them until new federal standards start phasing them out next year in favor of more energy-efficient compact fluorescent and LED bulbs.

For Hartley, a Wyoming truck driver originally from Vulcan, Mo., it’s about consumer choice.

“If it was given as an option to save energy, that’s fine,” he said. “But we’ve got a choice to still drive a gas-guzzling vehicle or buy a brand new, government-subsidized Chevy Volt. … If someone prefers something, they should have the right to buy it.”

Like it or not, the symbol of U.S. ingenuity is changing.

A USA Today/Gallup poll in February asked Americans if the phase-out legislation was a “good” or a “bad” law. While 61 percent said it was good and only 31 percent said it was bad, that 31 percent still represents millions of upset Americans.

Opponents of the legislation say it's a threat to the free market and personal liberty, and alternative bulbs are too expensive. They've taken their complaints to the blogosphere.

Read the full story at

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service