Apparently more than 233!
In a story I have been following that is the number or votes in the US Congress that a repeal of a 2007 law promoting environmentally efficient lighting got but it wasn't the two thirds majority required. It seems phasing out inefficient light bulbs is a sweeping assault on personal freedoms and people should be allowed to waste as much energy and the Earth's natural resources as they can afford. Strangely it was the last Republican President, George Dubya, that was in office when this efficiency measure was passed.
I have seen it said that it is a freedom and rights issue because the old tungsten lamps can be used for things that the new efficient compacts and LEDs can't - I mean how many Lava Lamps can these people really own?
This whole light bulb bill has been championed by presidential contender Michele Bachmann - now there is a political bight spark to watch out for in the future. Just how do such people get to such high levels of political office in the US? Defeated this time they may be, but this campaign to needlessly burn money and resources is not dead yet, with the likes of Joe Barton, a Texan Republican, saying he would try again to get the legislation through – by any means!
Meanwhile on the other side of the pond the Daily Maul is still publishing as many stories as it can against all forms of renewable energy. It curses rising energy bills but puts the blame squarely on hidden 'Green Taxes'. Little mention is made of the fact that energy bills are rising mostly because of increases in the prices of oil and gas - fossil fuels that are unlikely to decline in price by much in the short term but almost certainly will rise further in the medium term.
Current prices and impending rises are pushing more and more people into 'Fuel Poverty', the point when households spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills. With predictions that it will affect a quarter of all homes it is likely that mine will be among them.
Renewables can only get cheaper but will the supporting infrastructure for them be in place by the next generation when price parity between the two happens? Unlikely unless we not only pay these 'Green Taxes' but the money raised is ring fenced and invested wisely.