Why is it that Republicans work so hard to promote inefficiency? In government, they push for secret work in the shadows, and lack of accountability to the public. In the physical environment, they work to oppose any effort to make America’s energy system run more smoothly or cleanly.
Representative Michelle Bachmann’s Dim Bulb Caucus is a perfect example of this problem.
The Dim Bulb Caucus has formed around the effort to pass a particularly dim witted piece of legislation, the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act. The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, H.R. 5616, would repeal sections of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that establish a national phase out of old-fashioned inefficient light bulbs and a phase in of compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Bachmann’s legislation would require the Comptroller General of the United States to produce, in just six months, a report of dazzling detail in predicting, and even guaranteeing the future. The Comptroller General would, for example, be required to produce a set of statistics describing the expenses of old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs vs. efficient fluorescent bulbs, for every month, for a period starting four years from now and ending nine years from now. The Comptroller General’s report would also have to find an iron-clad guarantee that the fluorescent bulbs would reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the United States by 17 years from now.
If such a report, with all the scientific studies it would require, could not be rushed through to completion within just six months, the phase-in of efficient light bulbs would be cancelled.
Of course, given the unpredictable nature of future events, this kind of specific predictability is impossible to produce. That’s just what Michelle Bachmann had in mind.
Why? Michelle Bachmann doesn’t see any need for energy efficiency and pollution reduction. She has called global warming a “hoax”, in spite of the specific observations analyzed for decades and agreed upon by the overwhelming majority of scientists.
It’s sad that Michelle Bachmann has put her head in the sand, deciding to ignore the larger threats of mercury pollution, the economic impact of energy inefficiency, and the devastating effects that climate change is already having on humanity around the world. What’s even more regrettable, however, is that Michelle Bachmann has convinced 24 other members of the House of Representatives to go along with her scheme to attack the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
This collection of backwards-thinking members of Congress, numbering 25 including Bachmann herself, have all signed on as sponsors of the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act. I hereby name them the Dim Bulb Caucus, both on account of their stubborn dedication to wasteful technology and for their dazzling dim-wittedness in ignoring the economic and environmental threats that arise from their efforts to thwart energy efficiency.
The Dim Bulb Caucus:
Michelle Bachmann Minnesota 6th district
Todd Akin Missouri 2nd district
Marsha Blackburn Tennessee 7th district
Paul Broun Georgia 10th district
Dan Burton Indiana 5th district
Michael Conaway 11th district
John Culberson Texas 7th district
David Davis, Tennessee 1st district
John Doolittle California 4th district
Thelma Drake Virginia 2nd district
Tom Feeney Florida 24th district
Trent Franks Arizona 2nd district
Peter Hoekstra Michigan 2nd district
Doug Lamborn Colorado 5th district
Kenny Marchant Texas 24th district
Ron Paul Texas 14th district
Ted Poe Texas 2nd district
James Sensenbrenner Wisconsin 5th district
John Shadegg Arizona 3rd district
Adrian Smith Nebraska 3rd district
Tom Tancredo Colorado 6th district
Tim Walberg Michigan 7th district
David Weldon Florida 15th district