So you thought the that the House Republicans' obsession with incandescent lightbulbs had something to do with their love of the 19th century. Nostalgia for the days of Dredd Scott, child labor, no collective bargaining, few effective means for women to control their own destinies, and when coal was king.
While it's true that they do seem to have an unnatural attachment to those things, it does seem to come down to that coal being king bit. What's really behind the Republicans' war to keep America from saving money on energy by using more efficient lightbulbs is that the saved money would be going in the wrong pockets.
The real answer as to why the bill’s sponsors are itching to extend the shelf life of incandescent bulbs may not be so ideological. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that in one year, replacing just one 60-watt incandescent bulb with an equivalent CFL results in $7 in energy savings (Microsoft Excel file). Other Department of Energy figures (PDF) state that the average U.S. household has 45 light bulbs across 30 separate fixtures and that there are 116,900,000 households in the country. This means there are 5.26 billion light bulbs across the United States. At present, CFLs hover at a market share just under 30 percent. If that were to go up to 100 percent as a result of the EISA mandate, power companies would stand to lose almost $26 billion in revenue every single year.
Manufacturers like GE have little to lose by introducing and advocating CFLs, because they’re almost six times more expensive than traditional incandescents on average, meaning that over the long term, the decreased frequency with which consumers would have to buy them would be offset by the higher price — and in the short term, such companies would get a massive burst in revenue from Americans switching over. But the energy industry has billions to lose in the conversion — and it’s appealing to its friends in Congress to try to keep that from happening. [emphasis mine]
Yep, that's the good ol' GOP. Always looking out for the little guy who just loves the warm glow of his incandescent bulb.