Who doesn’t wake up every single day thankful that the federal government regulates the country’s light bulb use?
The Hill reports that states are fighting the Trump administration’s plans to get rid of Obama era light bulb efficiency regulations.
Washington and Colorado passed bills this month designed to backstop the Obama-era standards if DOE proceeds to roll them back, and half a dozen other states are considering similar legislation. Vermont passed such a law as soon as President Trump was elected.
State leaders say they are fighting what they see as an alarming trend under the Trump administration where agencies with an environmental purview are instead rolling back green regulations.
“It’s unfortunate if the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t actually want to protect the environment or that the Department of Energy is not interested in energy efficiency,” said Colorado state Rep. Meg Froelich (D), who sponsored the legislation to commit the state to the Obama-era standards for light bulbs and other devices. “We don’t want to become a dumping ground for energy inefficient appliances.”
Rolling back the standards would allow consumers to use light bulbs that are not as efficient as the new, Obama-approved bulbs. Less efficient (cheaper) light bulbs use more energy and come with higher energy bills for the consumer. Why not let consumers make that choice? If it truly is in the financial interest of a consumer to buy these energy efficient light bulbs, won’t they do it on their own?
Energy Secretary Rick Perry testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and admitted it might not be legal to roll back the regulations saying “you can never back up a standard.”
Governors, attorneys general, and Democratic senators have expressed concern or asked the Energy Department to withdraw the rule entirely. If the agency proceeds with rolling back the standards, they are likely to be hit with lawsuits from a coalition of 16 different states as well as environmental groups.
The industry pushed back on the Democrats concern over use of the cheaper, less efficient bulbs.
“The idea that we are returning to some by-gone era is nonsense,” Clark R. Silcox, general counsel for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), wrote in a blog post. “Yes, there is still a little way more to go to this lighting market transformation, but this is not the ‘nightmare’ nor is it as ‘bad economically’ that some of our colleagues in the energy efficiency community are portraying.”
Let the people buy the light bulbs that they want, if the LED bulbs are so great, there should be no reason to force them on the public.
(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)