Arizona state legislator Frank Antenori has proposed a bill (HB 2337) to assert state’s rights using light bulbs, as reported by AZCentral.com in this article.
The point of the legislation is that if incandescent lamps are manufactured in Arizona, then Federal legislation–namely, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which raised efficacy standards for household incandescent lamps–does not apply, as the Constitution grants the Federal government legal authority to regulate interstate commerce, not intrastate commerce. So if the Feds try to apply EISA 2007 to Arizona for lamps made in Arizona, citizens could sue the government.
The bill is a “kindler, gentler” version of a Montana gun law that 23 other states imitated, including Arizona.
It’s an interesting legal argument. I personally like that it protects American industry during a time that it needs protection. Unfortunately, it is not practical, and again, I’m struck by the blatant, rank hypocrisy of this type of legislation.
Why are politicians like Antenori so principled when it comes to what light bulbs we buy, but not when it comes to the Federal government conducting illegal search and seizure, torture, wiretapping–all of which is against the Constitution?
Sure, you can listen to my phone calls, read my emails, put a camera in my house, search my backpack at an airport or bus depot or train station, arrest people without giving them the right to face their accuser in court, illegally enter people’s homes without a warrant, and try people in front of military courts instead of civilian courts, but DON’T RESTRICT MY CHOICE OF LIGHT BULBS?
His house is on fire, and this guy is obsessing over whether he turned off his stove.
Rep. Antenori stated his concerns with EISA 2007 include exposing consumers to mercury in CFLs as well as eliminate American jobs.
But the mercury argument is wrong. Period. In fact, he is insisting that the citizens of Arizona be exposed to MORE harmful mercury, not less, by trying to preserve today’s incandescent lamp.
And besides, consumers won’t have to buy CFLs. Philips and Sylvania now have halogen screw-in lamps that are essentially an equivalent technology. So in 2012-2104, consumers will still be able to enjoy incandescent lighting; they’ll just have to pay a little more than they were paying before.
AZCentral.com reports that if the bill fails, Antenori is “ready with his second line of defense: Low-flow toilets and mandates to save water.”
Oh, great. Another worthy use of time for Arizona’s government. Antenori will fight for Americans’ right to waste water despite declining fresh water supplies and Arizona’s own water problems.