Topline: The Trump administration will prevent energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs from going into effect on January 1, 2020, another regulatory rollback that could increase greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to climate change.
The Energy Department said in a Wednesday filing that the rules, which were expanded during the Obama administration, were “not consistent with the best reading of the statute,” and that they do not “prevent consumers from buying the lamps they desire.”
About half of the 6 billion light bulbs in use today are affected by the rule change.
According to Bloomberg, had the Obama-era standards gone into effect, not only would consumers have saved billions of dollars?, but in addition millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions would be prevented from entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
The new light bulb rules are likely to be pushed back against by environmental groups and consumers and be challenged in court.
Light bulb manufacturers, including General Electric, opposed the Obama-era rules, claiming that they affect consumer choice and hurt American jobs.
Surprising fact: Using energy-efficient bulbs in the United States’ approximately 6 billion light sockets could create $14 billion in savings by 2025, according to an estimation by the National Resources Defense Council.
Key background: Legislation was passed with bipartisan support by Congress in 2007? (during George W. Bush’s administration?) to phase out inefficient incandescent and halogen bulbs. Energy-efficient bulbs then became a partisan issue during the Obama administration. However, Americans switching from traditional incandescent bulbs to LED ones have saved 6% of the country’s total household energy usage since 2010, according to Lucas David, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Tangent: The Trump administration has also rolled back regulations on automobile fuel efficiency, as well as methane emissions?—and the industries affected were largely not supportive of the rule changes.
Date: Sep 4, 2019