The Trump administration is turning out the lights on Obama-era rules that set onerous energy-use requirements for some of the most commonly used lightbulbs.

the Energy Department will repeal a regulation enacted under President Barack Obama, set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, requiring an expanded number of lightbulbs in the U.S. to be in compliance with stricter energy efficiency standards. That regulation change was spun off of a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush that aimed to gradually phase out energy inefficient bulbs like incandescent and halogen bulbs.

The regulation that’s being eliminated would have redefined four categories of incandescent and halogen bulbs so that they would be subject to existing energy efficiency rules from which they were previously exempt. It would have applied to about half of the 6 billion lightbulbs used in the U.S., experts have said.

The Trump administration said that the Obama rule is a misreading of the 2007 law.

The standards had been scheduled to take effect in January 2020 and applied to roughly half of the 6 billion lightbulbs in use. The Trump administration’s new rules will likely be challenged by environmental groups.

Critics contend that if Trump’s reversal is finalized, it will create higher energy bills for consumers and more pollution.

“We will explore all options, including litigation, to stop this completely misguided and unlawful action,” Noah Horowitz, director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement Wednesday.

“The Trump administration is illegally blocking the improved standards approved by a bipartisan Congress and supported by the lighting industry 12 years ago.”

Sadly, those of us in California won’t enjoy the regulatory relief.

The California Energy Commission in early 2018 adopted its own higher standard for the common-use bulbs in anticipation of the expanded federal rules.

“It is our understanding that California can keep” that higher standard for those bulbs despite the federal rollback, Noah Horowitz, director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an email.

As Nicolas Loris, an economist who focuses on energy notes, no regulations are needed if energy-efficient bulbs are superior in cost and function.

There’s no mandate forcing families or businesses to use inefficient lighting. Consumers can voluntarily replace inefficient bulbs with more efficient ones if they so choose.

The practices of being resourceful and saving money are intuitive, which means that the economy does not need mandates or rebate programs to nudge families into making decisions the government thinks are best for consumers.

In fact, many families and businesses are switching over to LED bulbs because of the cost savings.

According to the National Manufacturing Electric Association, “The general service LED bulb now accounts for approximately 70 percent of the shipments in the general service lamp category.

“Because of their longer life, it is estimated that by the end of 2019, 80-84 percent of the general service lamp sockets will be occupied by LED and [compact fluorescent lamps], while the halogen incandescent bulb is estimated to be in 16-20 percent of these sockets,” the industry association says.

Clearly, the Trump administration trusts consumers to make the smart choice. And, in an era where energy production is going up and emissions are going down, its trust is well place.

The lightbulb rule rollback creates a clear contrast to the Democratic Party. As a reminder, seven hours of draconian climate crisis proposals included 3rd-world abortions, meat taxes, and a gutting of our energy industry.


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