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Illumination & Displays

Government standards on light bulbs will promote innovation, help economy

New York Times
11 March 2011

Roger A. Pielke Jr., a professor at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado-Boulder, writes in a New York Times op-ed piece that U.S. government efficiency standards on incandescent bulbs will promote scientific and industrial innovation and help the economy.

The United States is set to phase out incandescent bulbs by 2014 in favor of more energy-efficient bulbs such as compact fluorescents. But earlier this month, Michele Bachmann, a representative from Minnesota, introduced a bill to repeal the 2007 law on efficiency standards for light bulbs.

The "government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy," she declared.

The opposition to the standards ignores an important bit of American history, Pielke says: the critical role that government-mandated standards have played in scientific and industrial innovation.

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