Trump Administration Rolls Back Energy Efficiency Standards On Light Bulbs

In yet another blow to the environment, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced this week that it will eliminate energy efficiency standards which were set to take effect in January of 2020, a move that will likely add millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, according to CNBC:

“The Trump administration on Wednesday announced that it will roll back requirements for more energy-efficient lightbulbs, introducing a set of rules that could lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate global warming.

“The filing from the Energy Department would prevent new efficiency requirements from implementation on Jan. 1 under a previous law passed in 2007 during President George W. Bush’s administration. That law phased out inefficient incandescent and halogen bulbs, and was approved with bipartisan support in Congress.”

Specifically, EcoWatch notes, all “three-way, recessed can, candle-shaped and round bulbs” were to be switched from incandescent and halogen bulbs to more energy-efficient LED varieties. But with one stroke of a pen, that will no longer be the case, as the Natural Resources Defense Council explained on Twitter:

Jason Hartke, President of the Alliance to Save Energy, slammed the move by the Trump administration:

“The Energy Department flat out got it wrong today. Instead of moving us forward, this rule will keep more energy-wasting bulbs on store shelves and saddle the average American household with about $100 in unnecessary energy costs every year. Wasting energy with inefficient lightbulbs isn’t just costly for homes and businesses, it’s terrible for our climate.”

As it happens, the move by the DOE may well be illegal and will likely be challenged in court:

“The NRDC claims the rollback is illegal because it violates the ‘anti-backsliding’ provision that says the DOE cannot weaken standards once they are put in place.

“‘We will explore all options, including litigation, to stop this completely misguided and unlawful action,’ Noah Horowitz, director of the NRDC’s Center for Energy Efficiency Standards, said in a statement.”

Reaction from those who manufacture light bulbs was much more enthusiastic, with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association — the trade association for light bulb makers — praising the decision and adding it would not “impact the market’s continuing, rapid adoption of energy-saving lighting.”

The DOE claims that the rollback of the energy efficiency standards “will ensure that the choice of how to light homes and businesses is left to the American people, not the federal government.”

But Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, disagreed, questioning the motives behind the reversal:

“The Trump administration is trying to protect technology that was first invented in the 1800s. It’s like trying to protect the horse and buggy from the automobile technology. It makes no sense to go back to technology from two centuries ago, when we have new technology today which saves consumers money and helps protect the environment by reducing the amount of power that we need.”

Featured Image Via Pixabay

 

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Andrew Bradford
 

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