Battle of the Bulbs in DC

By Omar Villafranca
|  Monday, Feb 21, 2011  |  Updated 11:30 PM CDT
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<a title=North Texas Congressman Joe Barton is sponsoring a bill that would save the government from flipping the switch on incandescent bulbs for good." />

Omar Villafranca, NBCDFW

North Texas Congressman Joe Barton is sponsoring a bill that would save the government from flipping the switch on incandescent bulbs for good.

The "Battle of the Bulbs" is raging in Washington.

North Texas Congressman Joe Barton is sponsoring a bill that would keep the government from flipping the switch on incandescent bulbs for good.

Back in 2007, President George W Bush signed a bill that would phase out incandescent bulbs. Supporters of the bi-partisan bill said the old bulbs were not energy efficient and didn't last long enough. The bill was part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Supporters of compact fluorescent lights, the high efficiency bulbs that are swirled, say the CFLs are more efficient and last longer.

But Barton, along with a dozen other Republicans, says the government shouldn't tell people what to screw into their sockets.

"It's just kind of a political correct do-gooder issue, and we don't think the government needs to mess in that area," Barton said in an interview with NBC.

Barton also doesn't believe that the lights are as long lasting as advertised. He also says they are more expensive that regular bulbs.

The bill is currently in a subcommittee.

There are other issues with CFL bulbs including complications in disposal. CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury which requires special precautions to dispose of safely and without breakage.

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