Trump administration rolling back energy efficiency standards on lightbulbs

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

The Trump administration is canceling a Bush-era rule to phase out incandescent lightbulbs.

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The new efficiency standards would have gone into effect Jan. 1, 2020 . The rule would have gradually phased out both the incandescent bulbs, invented more than 100 years ago, and halogen bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient LED and fluorescent lights that can last as long as a decade.

The Energy Department said the price of the bulbs would have tripled under the new rule.

“It's not worth it. For the little they save and what people are going through, it's not worth it. And price was another thing,” President Donald Trump said in commenting on the change.

But environmental groups contend the rollback will mean more pollution and could cost consumers more in energy costs in the long run.

"What is a surprise is that the Trump administration would try to eliminate a standard that provides such large benefits to consumers when there's really no reason to go backwards on technology here," Andrew Delaski, with the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said.

Delaski said the rollback will end up costing Americans $14 billion every year.

The National Resources Defense Council projected that eliminating inefficient bulbs would save the equivalent of the electricity output of at least 25 power plants, The New York Times reported.

Environmental groups are planning a lawsuit over the move, while officials in several states opposed to the change have questioned the authority of the Energy Department in making the blanket decision.
Congress passed bipartisan legislation in 2007 under the administration of George W. Bush that set high-efficiency standards for lightbulbs.

According to the Times, Department of Energy spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said the 2007 law means the department only has to issue standards "when doing so would be economically justified. These standards are not."

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