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Trump Administration Rolls Back Energy-Efficient Light Bulb Rules

LED light bulbs like these have replaced many incandescent ones.
LED light bulbs like these have replaced many incandescent ones.
Mark Lennihan/AP

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The United States Department of Energy announced plans today to roll back requirements for energy-saving light bulbs.

According to the New York Times, the policy shift could increase greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The Natural Resources Defense Council plans to challenge the plan in court. Critics of the proposal say energy efficient light bulbs have already been widely adopted, and contributed to a six percent drop in household energy consumption since 2010. Proponents of the new rules, like the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, argue that market forces, not government regulation, should guide consumer’s usage. Are you a fan of energy efficient light bulbs? Would a roll-back impact your shopping choices? Join the conversation at 866-893-5722.

We invited the Department of Energy to join our conversation, but they did not respond to our request in time for air. Following the airing of this segment, we received this statement from Department of Energy Spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes:

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) released two rules pertaining to light bulbs: a final rule that maintains the statutory definitions of “general service lamp” (GSL) and “general service incandescent lamp” (GSIL), and a proposed rule that determines not to amend the existing energy conservation standards for GSILs. By statute, GSILs are a subset of GSLs. Statute requires DOE to issue standards only when doing so would be economically justified. These standards are not. They would increase the price of GSILS by almost 300%, leaving the cost burden on American consumers and businesses. This action will ensure that the choice of how to light homes and businesses is left to the American people, not the federal government.


Clark Silcox, general counsel for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the trade association representing America’s electrical manufacturers 

Noah Horowitz, director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)