Upton flip-flops on the light bulb ban 

A law phasing out incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012 has prompted some states to challenge the reach of federal government.

Pennsylvania and South Carolina have legislation pending to exempt their states from the regulations. And Texas has already passed a bill purporting to nullify the government regulations within their state. Arizona's Republican governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed a similar bill last year.

Three bills have been introduced on the national level to repeal the ban on incandescent light bulbs in Congress's 2007 energy bill. That bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., now the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton has now become the law's worst foe, The Michigan View reports:

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., has finally agreed to support a bill this summer that means lights out on the looming 2012 ban on the common light bulb. Upton himself co-sponsored 2007 legislation making light bulbs illegal, a ban that has become a symbol of bipartisan Big Government run amok.

Upton has come under increased pressure in recent weeks, sources say, after failing to follow up on a promise he made after assuming the committee chairmanship that he would hold hearings on reversing the ban. After months of paralysis - and with the ban just six months from going into effect on January 1 - outrage was building among his own Republican committee colleagues and conservative activists, including a national petition campaign, FreeOurLight.org, sponsored by the influential Competitive Enterprise Institute. 

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann introduced a piece of legislation back in 2008, the “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act,” but it never made it out of subcommittee.

More recently, a bill has been introduced in the House to repeal the 2007 law, introduced by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and widely supported by Republicans in the House. In the Senate, Republicans Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., brought a similar bill forward, the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act, in February.

The current law phases out incandescent bulbs by 2014, starting with 100-watt incandescents on Jan. 1, 2012.

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