President Trump came into office promising to roll back meaningless and burdensome Obama-era regulations and it seems he is looking high and low to upend any evidence of his predecessor. Over the last year and a half, Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords, the Iranian nuclear deal, and the transpacific partnership trade deal. Trump also overturned Obama-era regulations on vehicle emissions and gas efficiency.
Now, Trump is eyeing Obama-era regulations on light bulbs.
The Obama administration announced changes to efficiency standards in January 2017, just days before Obama’s administration was to end and Trump to be sworn into the presidency.
Check it out, from the Daily Caller:
The Trump administration is preparing to repeal an Obama-era rule effectively outlawing a wide swath of popular lightbulbs, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The Department of Energy is ready to scrap a rule broadening the number of lightbulbs that must meet strict energy efficiency standards set to take effect in 2020, according to a document the agency published on its website. The document was later removed from the site, WaPo noted.
Former President Barack Obama’s DOE expanded the class of bulbs covered by a 2007 lightbulb ban to include bug lights, three-way bulbs, “rough service lamps,” and some decorative bulbs, such as globe-shaped bulbs. Obama’s decision came in January 2017 and roped in bulbs that had previously been exempt from the ban.
Obama officials argued the expansion was needed because consumers might use the unregulated bulbs to replace regulated ones.
Shaylyn Hynes, DOE spokeswoman, said the department does not comment on policy proposals and said any change would be shared in the biannual report.
“The Department does not comment on ongoing rulemakings beyond what is publicly available in the Unified Agenda published twice a year,” Hynes said, per the Daily Caller.
Here’s more on the change, from the DCNF:
Eliminating the regulation is potentially as groundbreaking as President Donald Trump’s move to roll back fuel emission rules, according to some experts.
“It’s certainly one of the biggest for energy efficiency standards, setting aside the clean-car standards,” Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, which discovered and saved the document before it was removed from the DOE’s website, said in an interview with reporters.
Congress passed into law in 2007 new efficiency requirements for general lightbulbs, with strict requirements set to take effect in 2020. LED bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps can easily meet the 2020 standard of 45 lumens per watt, according to deLaski. But the traditional incandescent bulbs on the market cannot.
Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said via the Washington Post: “It’s certainly one of the biggest for energy efficiency standards, setting aside the clean-car standards.”
So manufacturers of those bulbs pushed back against what they called “midnight” rules by the Obama administration. They argued the previous leadership wanted to apply a standard Congress meant for regular lightbulbs — the ones with the traditional pear-like shape — to many unconventional breeds of bulbs.
“All consumers of lighting are familiar with the look of the standard general service light bulb that Congress had in mind,” the National Electrical Manufacturers Association wrote to Rick Perry in March 2017 shortly after he was confirmed as Trump’s energy secretary. “These are specialty lamps, they are not standard lamps.”
The newfangled lightbulbs in particular have been held up — figuratively and at times literally, as Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) did once on the House floor — as an example of the federal government overreaching by forcing consumers to buy energy efficient products.
“The bill does one thing, Madame Speaker,” Poe said of the 2007 law a year after it was passed. “It controls the type of lightbulbs that all Americans must use.”