As of January 1, there will be no more old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs produced or sold in the United States (there are newer halogen incandescent bulbs, however, which use considerably less energy). The Natural Resources Defense Council explains why this matters:
Six years ago, President Bush signed a federal energy bill phasing out energy-wasting light bulbs on a staggered schedule to ensure a smooth and successful transition to more efficient bulbs – and eventually save Americans $13 billion on their annual energy bills….
Consumers now have three major types of bulbs to choose from: new and improved incandescents that use 28% less energy, and CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that provide energy savings of at least 75% and last a lot longer…And technological advances — like the GE 43W bulb below that replaces the 60-watt incandescent — have already saved homeowners and businesses billions of dollars on their energy bills. The new standards eventually will save as much electricity as is generated by 30 large coal-burning power plants – and the associated pollution that harms our health and contributes to climate change – every single year.
That’s pretty staggering. And it’s good public policy, despite the ridiculous screams of “TYRANNY!” from the right.