"The U.S. government last year announced
a that it would spend $10 million award of taxpayer money to fund dubbed the “L Prize,” for any manufacturer that could create a “green” but affordable light bulb. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the prize would spur industry to offer the costly bulbs, known as LEDs, at prices “affordable for American families.” There was also a “Buy America” component. Portions of the bulb would have to be made in the United States.
Officials added that they are working with utilities to provide rebates for consumers. That could lower the price of the L Prize bulbs. But existing rebates, which max out around $10, are too small to take a big slice out of the $50 price tag. By comparison, the typical 60-watt bulb that it would replace, an old-fashioned energy hog, can cost as little as $1."
For the government to spend $10 million in taxpayer money to create a $50 light bulb to replace a $1 bulb reminds me that only the government could make a common weed (marijuana) illegal and make it artificially more valuable than gold (at least until 2005 when gold was $400 per ounce or less).