If, like our president, you feel virtuous paying more for energy, then you’ll love this:

As the light bulb phaseout goes into effect, you may be surprised to know the law also requires their already-costly replacements to be phased out too.

That’s right, new light bulb efficiency standards set by Washington also mandate light bulbs become 70% more efficient than classic bulbs by 2020. The only bulbs that meet that higher standard are light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. And they are even more expensive than compact fluorescent lamps [CFLs]. — Investor’s Business Daily, “Light Bulb Phaseout Worse Than Reported”, January 12, 2012

For LEDs the prospects aren’t any brighter:

The Energy Dept. claims each household can save $50 a year in electricity by replacing 15 traditional bulbs. But the costs of the new CFLs exceed those savings. And they’ll only get worse with LEDs.

CFLs will replace incandescent bulbs to meet the first level of efficiency that’s been widely reported in the media. By 2014, household bulbs using between 40 and 100 watts will need to consume at least 28% less energy under a stupid law passed by Congress in 2007.

But a little-noticed provision of the law, known as the Energy Independence and Security Act, also sets a second efficiency goal of 70% that must be met nationwide by 2020. — Investor’s Business Daily, ibid.

As is so often true with the blundering nanny state, the left and right hands are ignorant of each other:

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Utility companies across the country have been replacing mercury street lamps with high-pressure sodium fixtures or metal halide fixtures, which are twice as efficient as mercury vapor and possibly safer. . . . The same agency that’s pitching [mercury-laden CFLs] as a green alternative requires households perform a small hazmat operation to dispose of them upon breakage.

The Energy Dept. recommends numerous steps to “reduce exposure to mercury vapor from a broken bulb,” including shutting off the air conditioning for “several hours” and even removing pets from the contaminated room. It advises picking up debris with duct tape, enclosing it in a glass jar and taking it to a special recycling center for proper disposal. — Investor’s Business Daily, ibid.

The Big Three light bulb manufacturers are all for the ban on traditional incandescent bulbs. Free market capitalism this ain’t; some incorrectly call it “crony capitalism.” Every time you see that phrase, think:

“crony capitalism = fascist socialism”

. . . with the free market being suppressed by government at the behest of big business in return for political favors.