U.S. Incandescent Regulation Found Invalid

Local researcher finds contradiction in incandescent light bulb laws

In 2007, congress passed the bi-partisan Energy Independence and Security Act (or EISA 2007) which included intentions to phase out incandescent light bulbs. According to the chart, 100 watt light bulbs would be phased out by Jan. 1, 2012, 75 watt light bulbs by Jan. 1, 2013 and by Jan. 1 of 2014, there will be no more 60 watt light bulbs available.

“To be perfectly honest, I hate fluorescent lights,” said Schulwitz. “So I looked up the law because they’re taking incandescent light bulbs away from me.”

While Schulwitz was able to find the bill where the impending regulation amendments were spelled out (Section 321(a) of EISA 2007), when he looked up 42 USC 6295(i), the corresponding section of the U.S. Code that deals with energy conservation standards for incandescent lamps, the amendments weren’t there.

“This was very confusing to me for the longest time,” said Schulwitz. “How could this happen? Lawmakers are not the type that are just going to make a mistake like this.”

So as his nature, he kept digging. He found that US Code 6295(i) was amended by Section 322(b) of EISA 2007, which struck out the first paragraph of section 325(i) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, or 42 USC 6995(i), and inserted a new paragraph which does not in fact regulate maximum wattage requirements.

“The very bill that passed wattage requirements, just a page or two later, repeals it,” noted Schulwitz. “They contradicted themselves, and since you can’t have a contradiction in law, the later section erased the contradiction and erased the maximum wattage regulations.”

Schulwitz said after he published his findings on Wikipedia, he believes some law makers noticed, because shortly after, a news article ran which claimed the ban had been overturned.

“But they never really corrected it,” Schulwitz said. “They just took away the funding to enforce the decision… You have a compartmentalized government structure where one end passes the bill that clearly says something, but another part has to compile coherent US code that can’t contradict itself and has to make all the pieces add up all while following the letter of the law.”

While he doubts his discovery will change anything, he still thinks it’s an interesting oversight and said he can’t help but wonder what other types of oversights exist.

How can it not change anything when the regulation cancels itself out??

Just like the EU lightbulb regulation is invalid due to not fulfilling its own requirements.

That is two major federations enforcing regulations that are invalid!


  1. Karol said,

    February 26, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Yeah, you’re right – it is INVALID.
    And, do you know where a 400-pound gorilla sits? WHEREVER HE WANTS.
    Those idiots are lawmakers, and thus they are -efectivelly- above the law. They don’t give a [whatever] about common folks or common sense. You can’t do much about it, except:
    a) whinning;
    b) publishing your findigs wherever you want (or can);
    c) nothing.

    …which is about the same, and as effective as cursing the thunderstorm.
    I live in EU, my wife needs 75-watts incadescend light bulb, frosted, for her sewing machine. NOT AVAILABLE, period.
    The light of compact fluorescent laps is awfull, clear light bulbs (or clear halogen replacements of these) are too glaring (she’s repairing windsurfing sails, which are made of reflective film) – but no, they aren’t allowed on the market. I’d pay $10 apiece to get them – but no, we have to save the planet.
    God save us befor it’s too late.

    • Otitismedia said,

      October 4, 2013 at 5:46 am

      The following is a quote from the reply to my letter to the EU Industry Comiczar:
      “Your question is unfounded because sewing will of course be phased out, too. The European Union’s regulatory bodies on industry, environmental safety, and occupational hazards have determined that what’s commonly called ‘sewing’ actually is a drastically under-regulated, highly hazardous, potentially tax-evading industry, as well as an energy-intensive climate-killer as proven by your mention of 75w(!!!) lamps.. There are safe alternatives (i.e,. adhesives, recycling, thermal end-of-life treatment) available to old-fashioned sewing which scientific studies have proven to be superior. We are confident that you’ll eventually come to understand your ignorance, and come to deeply regret your lack of trust in the expertise of your Government.”

  2.  lighthouse said,

    February 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    well spotted!
    think the video last year about this, linked here, might be from same person…

    • halogenica said,

      February 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      I see!

      I must admit I didn’t quite get it when I read your post the first time. And I still find it all very confusing. But perhaps no wonder if law makers themselves don’t understand what they’re writing…

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