In what critics call a classic case of the government working at cross purposes, Washington is forcing residents across the country to install mercury lighting inside their homes while phasing out mercury lighting outside homes to protect the environment.

Yes, you read that right.

In 2005, Congress passed a law banning mercury vapor streetlights – two years before it banned incandescent light bulbs in favor of mercury vapor compact florescent bulbs.

Under the Energy Policy Act, signed by President Bush in August 2005, manufacturers cannot make or import ballasts for mercury vapor lights after Jan. 1, 2008. According to the act, mercury vapor security lights are being phased out to “protect the environment” and to “promote energy efficiency” in lighting.

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