Saturday, March 22, 2008

NBL Walz –vs- OOS Bachmann on Freedom

As Congress is officially on the Spring District Work Period, it interesting to compare how two of Minnesota’s newest Representatives are spending their time.

First District Congressman Tim Walz is holding Veterans Forums in Mankato, Waseca, New Ulm, Rochester and Austin to acknowledge their efforts --- and their families – to protect our Freedoms.

Sixth District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann promoted her “Freedom" legislation – specifically H. R. 5616 at the Sherburne County Republican Convention.

This week’s Fifth Anniversary of the liberation of Iraq provided a great opportunity to discuss the implications to our military readiness and the impact to soldiers and their families. Walz continues to show his commitment to them.

How refreshing is it that the First District now has a Congressman that is accessible and promotes openness. Previously, Republican Congressman Gil Gutknecht would hold closed meetings – for example, in December 2005, Gutknecht and Iowa Congressman Steve King held “immigration” forum in Worthington that was closed to the public. When the first wave of National Guardsmen returned from Iraq, Congressman Gutknecht held a private luncheon with some of the troops … afterwards he said that what was discussed was not for the public record. We may not know what was discussed, but Gutknecht eventually traveled to Iraq for a weekend visit in the war zone. He said a partial withdrawal of some American troops might be wise and that “All of the information we receive sometimes from the Pentagon and the State Department isn't always true."

The Iraq conflict has caused no sacrifice on the part of everyday Minnesotans. Walz is making sure that he hears from the Veterans who have acted on the Frontlines to protect our Freedoms.

Bachmann has a different concern with Freedom. She is concerned with the overreach of the federal government into our daily lives. She has introduced H. R. 5616 the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.

Bachmann is responding to the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 which President Bush signed in December.

President Bush touts in a press release The Lighting Efficiency Mandate will phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs by 2014, and improve lighting efficiency by more than 70 percent by 2020 yet the Congresswoman feels this legislation was enacted in haste and in error.

That bill was properly debated and many consider that America was actually years behind in enacting this legislation.

The incandescent bulb is an energy hog. Just 5 percent of the electricity it uses goes to light the bulb; the other 95 percent is heat. Lowering demand for electricity from coal-fired power plants, which emit carbon dioxide, is the goal. CO2, most climate scientists say, is the single largest contributor to global warming.

In 2006, about 200 million compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs were sold in the U.S. One retailer, Wal-Mart, said it wants to sell 100 million compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) by 2008.

So voluntarily, many consumers are switching to CFL bulbs and manufacturers are increasing production.

In 2007, Australia said it would become the first country in the world to ban traditional, incandescent light bulbs. The European Union, representing 490 million citizens in 27 member states will be expected to switch to energy-efficient bulbs by 2009.

Bachmann does have a valid concern as about five milligrams of mercury are used in the typical CFL bulb. Mercury is toxic.
Well good news, Congresswoman Bachmann. XBULB offers a bulb that does not contain mercury.
That does not mean that people who have mercury-CFL bulbs can be reckless in disposal of those bulbs.

Yet, if safety was the concern, why isn't Congresswoman Bachmann requiring the elimination of CFL bulbs? Fluorescent bulbs have been used in homes, schools and industry for years. What is the real reason why Congresswoman Bachmann opposes this law ? The overreach of government ? The hoax of climate change ? A lobbyist's wish ?

Knowing that Congresswoman Bachmann is concerned about wasteful government spending, I hope that she re-evaluates her legislation before she requests a Congressional Budget Office analysis … we don’t need to waste any monies on her trite legislation.

At the start of their House careers, I penned Spotlight pointed at NBL Walz while OOS Bachmann spins . Re-reading that commentary today, I still see a Natural Born Leader in Congressman Walz and that Congresswoman Bachmann is still Out Of Step.

No comments: