Many Americans want to keep incandescent light bulbs

James Hartley sees liberty in his light bulbs.

He’s been stockpiling traditional incandescent bulbs for almost two years. So far he’s collected more than 300.

He said he’ll keep buying them until new federal standards start phasing them out next year in favor of more energy-efficient compact fluorescent and LED bulbs.

For Hartley, a Wyoming truck driver originally from Vulcan, Mo., it’s about consumer choice.

“If it was given as an option to save energy, that’s fine,” he said. “But we’ve got a choice to still drive a gas-guzzling vehicle or buy a brand new, government-subsidized Chevy Volt. If someone prefers something, they should have the right to buy it.”

Like it or not, the symbol of U.S. ingenuity is changing.

A USA Today/Gallup poll in February asked Americans if the phase-out legislation was a “good” or a “bad” law. While 61 percent said it was good and only 31 percent said it was bad, that 31 percent still represents millions of upset Americans.

Opponents of the legislation say it's a threat to the free market and personal liberty, and alternative bulbs are too expensive. They've taken their complaints to the blogosphere.

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