The proposed Department of Energy rule released on Friday would use the department’s authority under the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act to establish a ban on the sale of light bulbs that fail to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard of producing 45 lumens of light for every watt of energy used by a given light.
The energy department’s move marks a departure from the course charted by the Trump administration, which declined to implement any such regulations at the behest of former president Donald Trump, who made opposition to new energy efficiency requirements for light bulbs a frequently-heard part of his rambling, free-associative campaign rally speeches.
“Those new expensive light bulbs. I said, ‘What happened to the old ones? They’re better.’ They said, ‘They were mandated out.’ I said, ‘Why?’ Nobody could explain why,” Mr Trump said, adding later: “We’re letting them back. The light bulbs are back”.
At a December 2019 rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, Mr Trump also claimed that “a lot of people” had been complaining about the cost of more energy efficient bulbs.
“If you want to buy the newer kind, you can. And if you want to look very handsome or beautiful by buying the older kind like I do. So we’re bringing back the old light bulb ... it’s much less expensive. It probably gives a better light, but whatever it is … you’ll be able to spend a lot less money for a light bulb,” he said.
The energy department is separately trying to unwind a Trump-era regulation which excluded certain kinds of light bulbs from more efficient energy standards, having issued a proposed rulemaking in August to do so.
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