- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Biden administration will soon prohibit the sale of inefficient light bulbs, a reversal of a Trump-era policy that officials have billed as a money-saving endeavor that will also reduce climate-changing emissions and advance the president’s clean energy agenda.

Households, businesses and public buildings have long been moving away from old-fashioned incandescents and toward more environmentally friendly bulbs like LEDs and compact fluorescents that are cheaper to use. But the strengthening of energy-efficiency standards undoes action taken by the Trump administration to slow the light bulb transition.

The Department of Energy finalized two rules Tuesday that will require manufacturers to produce bulbs that create at least 45 lumens per watt, the metric used to determine how much visible light is emitted vs. the amount of electricity used.

The administration said it expects the new policy will save consumers some $3 billion per year, slash carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next three decades — equivalent to emissions from 28 million homes in one year — and cause bulbs to last 25 to 50 times longer.

Manufacturers will have to make the switch by Jan. 1.

“The lighting industry is already embracing more energy-efficient products, and this measure will accelerate progress to deliver the best products to American consumers and build a better and brighter future,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm.

Democrats and industry groups praised the rules changes while Republicans were mum.

Rep. Frank Pallone, New Jersey Democrat and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, touted the new standards as “real, meaningful action to slash families’ electric bills and combat the growing climate crisis.”

“I applaud the Biden administration for reversing Trump’s senseless rollback of these light bulb standards — particularly at a time when Americans need relief from rising energy prices,” Mr. Pallone said.

The Trump administration had sought to slow the transition away from incandescent bulbs, citing cost concerns for businesses.

Still, with how inexpensive efficient light bulbs have become, households were already rapidly making the switch. From 2015-2020, the number of households with LED bulbs increased from just 4% to 47%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Addressing a crowd of Republican legislators in Baltimore in September 2019, former President Donald Trump defended his decision against more energy-efficient bulbs by saying it contributed to his orange hue.

“The bulb that we’re being forced to use: number one, to me, most importantly, the lights no good. I always look orange, and so do you. The light is the worst,” Mr. Trump said, producing laughs from the audience. “We’re going to sell that, but we’re also going to sell incandescent bulbs, and people are so happy about it.”

• Ramsey Touchberry can be reached at rtouchberry@washingtontimes.com.

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