As Republicans in the House of Representatives fight to keep the United States from shifting to more energy-efficient light bulbs, descendants of Thomas Edison are crying foul.
It’s been 132 years since Edison invented the incandescent light bulb. The last decade has seen the advent of the fluorescent bulb. The bulbs were championed as longer-lasting, more energy-efficient and a huge savings opportunity for American families. In 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law a bill that called for the phasing out of the bulbs that weren’t much different than the original one Edison invented, but now Republicans are saying not so fast. Citing a desire for choice, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) penned the Better Use of Light Bulb (BULB, get it) Act. Four of Edison’s descendants aren’t amused.
Barry Edison Sloane, great-grandson of Edison
"I am appalled that any legislative body would be so narrow-minded as to discourage new and advanced technology. If my great-grandfather were alive today … he would have already moved on to the better, cleaner, sustainable technology well before certain legislators put their opinions into the mix…It is ironic that the very people who are supporting the legislation … are the ones who espouse free markets. Edison would certainly have recognized that the wave of the future — profits — is to make it better, cheaper and, yes, cleaner and more efficient."
Heywood Edison Sloane, great-grandson of Edison
"Thomas Edison was a keen observer of the state of things around him, and was prolific with innovations to make the things around him better. He encouraged people to improve on his work, just as he improved on it himself. He would have thought inventing and commercializing substantially more efficient ways to provide light was long overdue… Edison would think that those who would manipulate this issue, this late in the game, to score ideological points, are misguided at best."
David Edison Sloane, great-grandson of Edison
"Edison would be inventing a better bulb right now, and he would plan to generate a lot of new jobs and big profits as well as better light."
Robert Wheeler, grand-nephew of Edison and president of the board of the Edison Birthplace Association
"The technology changes. Embrace it.’"
The entrance of the Edison family into the light bulb debate is an interesting addition that may lend some credibility to the issue. In recent months, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) had the person who lights the Statue of Liberty speak in favor of the BULB Act. That served to further solidify Republican support for the bill. It should be noted that when President Bush introduced the plan to phase out the old bulbs, Republicans were almost 100 percent behind the idea. Now, even though the Department of Energy says the phase-out would save taxpayers $6 billion in 2015 alone, Republicans are committed to going back to the days of Thomas Edison instead of living in the times of his great-grandchildren.