In my new e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, the condemned 100 watt incandescent light bulb has this to say about Fred Upton, the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who co-sponsored the offending amendment in the 2007 law, and concocted the inexplicably strategy that led to this evening’s 233-193 defeat of efforts to repeal the ban in the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act:
I stand wrongly accused and unjustly condemned, sentenced to die by the hand of Big Government . . .
What powerful industry executives, stuck selling me at low prices and low profit margins, deceptively manipulated the government to force my execution, so they could replace me with unsafe, high-priced, high margin, swirly spiraled Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs manufactured in China?
I accuse you, Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, as one of those industry executives who sacrificed my tungsten filament on the altar of your industrial planning.
I accuse you, Congressman Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan and now Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, of moral cowardice and spinelessness. You denied me due process. You knowingly participated in my trial without allowing me the benefit of a defense attorney, the right to call my own witnesses, or the right to cross-examine witnesses brought by the prosecution against me.
As I wrote last week in this space, Upton erred by failing to hold committee hearings on this bill, reporting it out of committee properly, then scheduling a floor vote that requires a majority, not two-thirds, to pass. Traditionally, only non-controversial bills take the special orders route. Upton’s poor strategy put Henry Waxman of California, of all people, on the moral high ground when he complained –quite properly — that this method was not appropriate for bringing the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act to the floor of the House for the vote.
You can read the rest of this article at Broadside Books' "Line of Fire" here.