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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Thursday
Feb042010

California is Stupid*

 

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And let me tell you why....

I lived in California for five and half years. I lived in San Diego for about a year and then I lived in Los Angeles for the remaining years. I lived six miles from the epicenter of the Northridge earthquake and endured all that went with that nightmare. I have been evacuated for fires. My car died in the left-hand lane of the Sepulveda Pass during rush hour (you LA folks will understand that particular hell) during pre-cell phone days. I worked in the heart of South Central during the OJ Simpson verdict. My neighbor wanted me to take a gun to work with me on that day, in case there were riots. I feel having served my time in the state, I am at liberty to bitch about it.

Has anyone heard of Title 20? No? Let me tell you about it. It's this new, totally bullshit Energy Efficiency law that requires everyone to "do their part" when it comes to energy conservation. That sounds like a mighty fine thing on the surface, right? Right. Californians voted on this bad-boy, that means it's something that the folks in that state should have to deal with, right? Wrong.

This title, all 532 pages of it, is a nightmare for thousands (yes, thousands) of people OUTSIDE the state of California. Why? Because it requires that any form of lighting that is shipped into the state be compliant with their energy efficiency laws. The lighting requirements are only part of the title, but is the part that most affects why I'm pissed, so I'm only going to focus on that. How it affects a bazillion other appliances is beyond my scope of comprehension.

As a supplier of portable lighting to the state of California, my company (as well as hundreds of other companies) is now required to include a CFL bulb (those new twisty bulbs that cost a fortune but last forever)with the lamp. Some people might think,"Well, what's the big deal? Just add a bulb!" Yeah.....not as easy as it sounds when:

1. Your picking and shipping out of your warehouse is completely automated. How do you suddenly stop that whole process and pull out all the boxes of lamps that need to go only to California?

2. How much will it cost to reprogram that entire automated system to account for this, assuming you can figure out how to program it?

3. As a home decor company, we now have to invest in light bulbs? Really expensive light bulbs?Really?

4. Let's talk for a minute about how expensive the manual labor is in the warehouse to pull these boxes, open them, stuff a bulb in, repack and put back into the once-automated shipping process. It ain't cheap folks. These warehouse workers are UNION. Do not fuck with the Union.

Some other thoughts:

1. How is it now the manufacturer's responsibility to make sure the people of California use a CFL bulb?

2. Who is to say that the retailers won't just take the bulb for personal use?

3. Who is to say that the consumer will use that bulb in the that particular lamp anyway?

4. As far as we can tell, there is no law that says the retailer must provide the bulb to the consumer, yet people from outside the state of California must incur the cost on all levels to provide the retailer with that bulb.

I just don't get it. I mean, Prop 65 was bad enough. That's the law that basically says that anything that includes chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity (at a level of 0.100 parts per MILLION) must be identified and labeled as such to the consumer. So, let's say that I have a RED candleholder that has about as much lead in the paint as a red M-n-M (that you eat). OK, it's maybe a little more than that, but let's just say that it has as much lead as the old M-N-M's that they stopped making for a while. Companies now have to label that candleholder with a warning that it's possibly toxic. Sure, it's toxic - maybe if you lick that candleholder every day for the next 20 years. Then you might get tongue cancer. But dude, if you are licking red candle-holders every day for the next 20 years, you've got much bigger issues than cancer. Seriously.

While these laws are based with the best intentions, the realty is that they just don't work. Should plates and forks and drink ware have to be tested for toxicity? Absolutely. Should we all be more energy efficient and use CFL bulbs? Sure. In fact, by 2012, incandescent bulbs will be a thing of the past. The US Government has seen to that. Just wait for it, it's coming. And guess what? There are people out there with illnesses that don't allow them to be under fluorescent lighting. Guess those folks are going to have to suck it up, right?

Considering that the state of California is just about bankrupt, you'd think that they would not want to piss off their suppliers of goods, right? Apparently not, as they do a really good job of doing so. There are companies out there that will not ship product to the state of California because of their laws. If they insist on compliance, they just might get it in the form of a California boycott. Let them be self-sufficient then if they are so holier-than-thou. Let's see how that goes. Didn't North Korea give that a go?

California is just so stupid.

 *Californians - feel free to retaliate if you feel the need to, but keep in mind that I have the right to delete snarky comments, even though this blog is snarky. It's my blog. I'm in charge. :)

 

 

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Reader Comments (12)

Oh Louise how I love your snarkiness.
I have lived in California 51 out of 52 years.
Why did you live in LA? Yuk. Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco, Napa Valley, North Coast? Oh yeah! I personally live in Hell Valley (Central).
There are so many wonderful things about California. I will let you have all the idiots who ran for and also won Goveror, but politicians mostly suck everywhere. You can remove the oil wells off the coastline, oil companies don't give a shit about the earth. You can take all our white trash and those that go with it and move them to wherever methamphetamine and gangs are desired. You can move my mother to someone who's life needs more drama.
But the sophistication and beauty of San Francisco, the beauty, wines and cuisine of Napa, the attitudes of humanity, earth, all life of Sebastapol, Yosemite in it's grandeur, Humbolt with it's great marijuana. Oops. What I love is the old spirit that still exists in the right places. We want an end to animal testing/torture. We want our planet to be treated like it is a gift from God. We want an end to ignorance and hatred. We believe in the possibilities of hope.
So if that means that anything brought into our state is better than before, then I welcome that. Sort of like not allowing China to send leaded toys that we know all children put things into their mouths to the United States. Why should they have to change for just one country. But then there is the whole subject of why we allow pesticides to be used on fruit and vegetables that we import into this country, which we don't allow but who cares if it poisons the Guatamalan farm worker. Politics suck. Big Business suck. They do what they want for greed. Then they twist the laws to their own benefit. When did plastic become acceptable. It is not natural and made questionably, recycling isn't better it is just less in the dump. I am all for demanding that everything becomes more natural, less and less toxic, and that companies are made responsible for fucking up our world in the name of the dollar.
Still love you though.

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

As a small part of the lamp retail business, I completely agree.

That state and their nonsense laws create so much trouble for national retailers. It's just not even right.

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Smith

The only thing I could think as I read this post was, "I don't think that's legal..." Now, I'm just a second-year law student, so my disclaimer is this: Please run, don't walk, to your legal department/lawyer (who preferably has passed the bar, which I haven't had the chance to conquer yet), and they can tell you that I've completely confused everything I've studied for the past 1.5 years. Anyway, here's the thing: There's this thing called the Constitution, and it says that our Federal government is the only one that can regulate interstate commerce- which means any commerce that crosses state lines. And I don't really have time to look up the cases for you to take to said legal department, but I swear we learned that no State can make rules that place an unreasonable burden on people trying to do business in that State. For example, CA can't make a rule saying that you have to put something special in the boxes that cross their state lines (unless the Federal government says you have to do that for boxes that cross ANY state line). I really think it's worth investigating, because from what you've said, there is ABSOLUTELY an undue burden placed on people trying to do business in CA. Like I said, just my two cents.

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristine

Interesting - we'd never get a bulb included with the purchase of a lamp. That's an extra and it allows you to choose the bulb to suit your purpose, but things can be a bit differnt down under! Maybe you could just stop including bulbs?

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy B

Um, that is stupid. But as a California resident I still like living here.

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn K.

Oh Amber, I love you too, my hippy-dippy Californian! I have family in Los Osos, one of those little nooks that doesn't suck to visit.

Kristine - I know, right? We've had oodles and oodles of our corporate bad-boys on this and they assure us there's no gettin' around it. I still think it's bullshit.

February 4, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

isn't it some sort of health issue if one of those bulbs breaks? I swear my MIL sent me an article about evacuating my house if we broke one. I, of course, threw it away as I do most of the crap she sends here, but if that was true I couldn't imagine trying to ship them in a box with a lamp.

When I read stuff like this or listen to my hubs on a work phone call at 2 am or think back to my old pre-valentine's day mandatory call center duty - I smile that I get to sit on the floor and do puzzles with my kids right now :) I know I'll go back to the world of "work" some day but for now it's time to gas up 39 matchbox cars so they can have a big race!!!

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

What did I tell you about California?

First, I have no idea what Amber is talking about, and I'll try not to be as vicious as I want to be, because it sounds like this legislation is well intended, but if Californians want energy efficient light bulbs they can carry their self rightous, arrogant, liberal asses down to the local coop and buy some and not have wholesales in other states subsidize their ideology. There's this thing in America called freedom and the consumer has the right to buy what products they want. I don't know why Californians have this pervasive belief that they invented environmentalism and they are so much more sophisticated than anyone else. I'm sure most of those folks are well meaning and good natured, but the air of liberal smuggness is extremely off-putting. Sorry, but that really hit a nerve with me.

Second, I think Kristine is close to the mark. As and attorney and self proclaimed constitutional scholar (now whose being smug) The commerce clause prohibits states from enacting legislation that imposes an undue burden on interstate commerce, but of course it is not just that simple. The state does have police powers to regulate for the health safety and well being of its citizens. So its not as clear cut as one might think. I'll take a closer look at the statute and find a loophole for you if I can.

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Candyman

This is a really old post and no-one may ever read my comment, but I had to submit it anyway. I totally agree - California is stupid. I'm 51, was born here, and except for when I attended college out-of-state, I've lived here all my life.

I don't remember that bit of legislation and I vote in every election but I'm sure I would have voted against it. I can't stand the nanny state with its well-meaning but completely pointless rules. I don't use CLF's at all. And including one in the box with a lamp is not going to make me use it. I wanted to order some little accent lamps that take 25 watt incandescent bulbs. (I searched quite a bit to find the lamps.) All to find out that neither Amazon nor anyone can ship them to me. I thought it perhaps was a prop 65 issue - 1 billion of a part of lead in the lamp, maybe? But no, the manufacturer quite rightly doesn't want to deal with putting a CFL bulb in the box, especially with a lamp that doesn't take CFL's. So I will have to pay twice for shipping - once to send the lamps out of state to a friend and again for her to send them back to me. The lamps are 15 inches high and inexpensive. Shipping will bring that up. This is completely ridiculous.

May 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

This is a really old post and no-one may ever read my comment, but I had to submit it anyway. I totally agree - California is stupid. I'm 51, was born here, and except for when I attended college out-of-state, I've lived here all my life.

I don't remember that bit of legislation and I vote in every election but I'm sure I would have voted against it. I can't stand the nanny state with its well-meaning but completely pointless rules. I don't use CLF's at all. And including one in the box with a lamp is not going to make me use it. I wanted to order some little accent lamps that take 25 watt incandescent bulbs. (I searched quite a bit to find the lamps.) All to find out that neither Amazon nor anyone can ship them to me. I thought it perhaps was a prop 65 issue - 1 billion of a part of lead in the lamp, maybe? But no, the manufacturer quite rightly doesn't want to deal with putting a CFL bulb in the box, especially with a lamp that doesn't take CFL's. So I will have to pay twice for shipping - once to send the lamps out of state to a friend and again for her to send them back to me. The lamps are 15 inches high and inexpensive. Shipping will bring that up. This is completely ridiculous.

May 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I still read comments! I love that you think this is as stupid as I do.

May 10, 2015 | Registered CommenterLouise

Man I really like California. But things like this is just pain in the ass.

So I was looking at floor lamps from target, and was gonna buy one. But then I just found out I had to pay 20 bucks extra to buy the one that includes CFL bulbs. The lamp itself was 20 bucks. But the thing was, I just didn't want those. I wanted bulbs that are brighter, and with higher color temp, not those came with the package. And I was going to buy CFL bulbs anyway. Why the heck am I forced to pay for something I don't want at all? It's not some big money, but I'm just really pissed. Whichever genius that came up with such a law should just resign from his/her position. This thing sounds wonder like "wow our state will all be using high efficiency lighting soon" but in reality it's not gonna solve shit.

July 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJL

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