What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.
The resulting savings in energy and greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be immense. But the move also had unintended consequences.
Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.
CFLs, as many note, have their own problems (overhype about efficiency being one of them) and health hazards.
Many on the right are blaming Democrats for this blow to US manufacturing and personal choice in selecting lighting, but it should not be forgotten that a Republican president signed off on this measure.