Stephen Colbert Learns How To Screw In a Better Light Bulb

Last night, NRDC’s Dale Bryk was invited on the Colbert Report to debate one of the most pressing concerns of some members of Congress these days. Not the deficit, jobs or climate change, but light bulbs. That’s right, the things we all take for granted when we switch on the lights.

Watch NRDC's Dale Bryk's interview about energy saving light bulbs on the Colbert Report.

Turns out that some members of Congress think American freedom is at stake. Congressmen like Texas Congressman Joe Barton, who appolgized to BP last year for what he termed a $20 billion “shakedown,” claim the light bulb energy saving legislation is dangerous and expensive.

But Barton doesn't have his bulb screwed on right. Studies show the legislation will save Americans up to $200 on energy bills each year and reduce US energy consumption by more than $10 billion a year. Not only do most members of Congress support the legislation, but Americans support the switch because it makes economic sense. And it will create jobs in the process. How’s that for deficit reduction?

And the new energy efficient light bulbs no longer look any different that the ones we've been using for decades. Some of these new bulbs are already on store shelves. Can you tell the difference below?

The new high-efficiency incandescent bulbs, as on the right, retain the familiar shape and base of the 125 year-old incandescent design (left). photo: Anthony Clark, NRDC


So what’s wrong with sticking with 19th century inventions like the incandescent bulb and steam powered boats, Colbert quizzed Dale?

That’s a question everyone needs to ask members of Congress who want to roll back energy efficiency legislation. It will not only save us money but lower greeenhosue gas emissions and protect our children’s health.

On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is holding a hearing on  legislation similar to the House that would eliminate these energy efficiency savings. That’s not a bright idea. The brightest bulbs in Congress know we need to embrace 21st century solutions that solve our energy needs and shine a sustainable light on our future.