As major companies continue to switch production from traditional, incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs, environmentalists rejoice and an industry mourns.
The CFL (spiral bulb) was invented by GE engineer Ed Hammer after the 1970’s energy crisis. A Chinese immigrant, Ellis Yan, then streamlined the production process. The CFL bulb costs more up front, but uses 75 percent less energy and throws the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs.
The Washington Post reports that the transition will cause many local plants to close and more jobs to be moved overseas where production is cheaper. At a GE plant in Winchester, VA, workers currently making $30/hour worry about losing their jobs and finding new positions in a bad economy. Some point a finger at the government who has continually promised that green technologies would bring more manufacturing jobs, not ship them overseas.
Legislation was passed in 2007 that will ban incandescent bulbs by 2014.