God bless Texas

…for telling the federal government to take their incandescent light-bulb ban and shove it:

Texas could soon be in a position to turn the lights off on a federal plan to phase out certain light bulbs.

State lawmakers have passed a bill that allows Texans to skirt federal efforts to promote more efficient light bulbs, which ultimately pushes the swirled, compact fluorescent bulbs over the 100-watt incandescent bulbs many grew up with.

The measure, sent to Gov. Rick Perry for consideration, lets any incandescent light bulb manufactured in Texas – and sold in that state – avoid the authority of the federal government or the repeal of the 2007 energy independence act that starts phasing out some incandescent light bulbs next year.

“Let there be light,” state Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, wrote on Facebook after the bill passed. “It will allow the continued manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs in Texas, even after the federal ban goes into effect. … It’s a good day for Texas.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based environmental group, is calling on Perry to veto the bill.

I suspect Perry will sign the bill, since it would be popular given the increasingly “small l” libertarian mood of the country these days, and those folks would be Perry’s core audience in a presidential run. The article goes on to quote an NRDC spokesman arguing that the bill cannot be implemented in a practical manner (What? They can’t build a light bulb plant in Texas?) and that it wouldn’t be in the “best interests” of Texans.

How… patronizing and condescending. We can’t let people decide for themselves what kind of lighting is best, after all. That’s better left to bureaucrats and panels of experts. That’s the “progressive way.”

To which I reply,  “go Texas!” 

Anyway, this law poses interesting constitutional issues, and I fully expect it to wind up in the courts. There’s the much-abused Commerce Clause, which has been stretched into near-meaninglessness to allow Washington to do whatever it wants. If the federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 rests even in part on regulating interstate commerce (i.e., because the bulbs are manufactured in one state and shipped to another), then strict constructionists could argue that, since the economic activity (manufacturing and sale) takes place within one state, Congress has no power to regulate it. Under the 10th amendment, therefore, the power to do so is reserved to the states, and Washington can take a hike.

Given the legal history of Commerce Clause interpretation, and especially with horrible precedents such as Wickard v Filburn, I doubt this argument would win, but it sure would be interesting to watch. I will note, however, that a refining of the Commerce Clause to clearly prohibit Congress from regulating intra-state activity is one of the amendments in Professor Randy Barnett’s proposed Bill of Federalism.

Meanwhile, I may be looking at a quick trip to Texas to pick up a case of 100-watts.

via The Jawa Report

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

4 Responses to God bless Texas

  1. Mephitis says:

    Good on you Texas.

    I never understand the whole precedents issue. I’m sure that there are plenty of cases second amendment law that states that the second amendment means just what it says, but the Libs NEVER EVER get constrained by that stuff, and instead dream up some other stuff that for example, makes it semi legal for Chicago or DC to deny gun ownership to citizens.

    When a precedent plainly gets it wrong, why are the lawyers and the courts so reluctant to FIX the problem? I know, I know … it’s how the progressives move the ball, therefore nothing can ever be corrected and we are forever doomed by a bad/stupid/evil/wrong decision.

    I think Texas should go a full step further and allow the manufacture and sale of any automobile within the state. No EPA restrictions … no CAFE minimum mileage requirements … no airbag requirement … no minimum 5mph bumper, or safety regulations. Just a car and a business transaction between a willing seller and buyer. Unbridled Capitalism would take place and jobs would be created and customers would be happy, and the EVIL that is Big Government would be thwarted.

  2. Whitehall says:

    During the civil rights struggles of the 60’s, federal agents would go to local eataries and take photos of out-of-state plates on customers cars.

    Ergo, the resturants were engaged in “interstate commerce.”

    Watch for something similar to happen here.

  3. Polichinello says:

    Interestingly, the feds won’t be able to cite power consumption, since Texas, alone of all the lower 48, has its own power grid, and it also skirts a lot of federal regulations.

  4. Mike Palm says:

    darn, the federal government is the source of all evils

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