Starting on Tuesday, the Biden Administration will phase out incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy-efficient ones, after a year of efforts to do so since previous President Donald Trump’s administration blocked the rule that would do so.
A new minimum requirement for light bulbs will be that they be at 45 lumens (brightness per watt), an improvement above the average 12 to 18 lumens per watt for incandescent bulbs, was adopted by the Department of Energy last year and will go into effect on August 1.
It will be illegal to sell any light bulb below 45 lumens.
Although homeowners using any present bulb that falls short of the standard will not be obliged to quit using them, retailers will be forbidden from offering any bulbs—including conventional bulbs—that do not satisfy the new requirement.
Pursuant to the department, environmentally friendly bulbs, such LEDs, use at least 75% less energy and can last as much as twenty-five times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, therefore the choice was made to conserve energy and “help consumers save on their energy bills.”
An initiative to gradually eliminate less efficient bulbs, the Energy Independence and Security Act, put forward by former president George W. Bush in 2007, stipulated that household light bulbs have “about 25% greater efficiency,” however it did not explicitly ban incandescent bulbs, as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency.
By adding two new requirements to the act in 2017, former president Barack Obama essentially phased out incandescent bulbs as well as other speciality bulbs – that ban would have started in January 2020.
After Trump pushed against them and other environmental laws during his presidency in 2019, the Department of Energy stopped the requirements. Trump claimed that Americans were “being forced to use” energy-efficient bulbs.
Trump famously joked that the newer light bulbs made him look “orange.” Many in MSM reported it as if that was the main reason he wanted the old light bulbs to remain, which is of course fake news.
Trump spoke to workers at a Whirlpool factory in Ohio in August 2020:
And one other thing I did– remember the old light bulb? The old light bulb was so great, and they put it out of business. It was much cheaper, and it had much better light. And you’re all good looking people, but you look better under the old light bulb than that horrible new light bulb, right?
Cost you a fraction of the cost. Didn’t last as long, but that’s OK. But it cost you a fraction.
I reinstituted and opened it up so they can sell both. They can sell the new one if you want it. And they can sell the old one. The old one’s doing unb– amazing business, amazing business.
And you know, the new one is considered hazardous waste. When you lose it, you’re supposed to take it down to a dump, a specified dump. How many people are gonna do that with a light bulb?
Hey, you know, we lost this light bulb. Let’s travel 28 miles outside of the city to get rid of it. It’s hazardous waste.
So I put the old bulb back in. And you can use the new one. You can use anything. I guess it’s competition.
But I particularly like it because I don’t look so orange. So it’s very nice.
Very nice. I don’t want to look– I don’t like that look. Never liked it.
According to the Department of Energy, utilizing energy-efficient bulbs for an entire year is going to save Americans $3 billion in total on power costs. Not everyone is on board with the move to force Americans to pay for the much-more-expensive bulbs, though.
The move of gradually cutting out the less expensive light bulbs, according to Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas), “is just another example of the Biden Administration’s tidal wave of regulatory burdens crashing down on American families.” The restriction, according to Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), is a component of Biden’s “regulatory assault” on household appliances.
Those on the left beg to differ.
Joe Vukovich, a staff attorney who holds a “bachelor’s of science in physics from Carnegie Mellon” at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the U.S. is “long overdue to phase out inefficient, old-fashioned light bulbs.” Energy-efficient bulbs should be preferred over inefficient ones, according to Charlie Harak, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center. This will help families with “disproportionately higher energy burdens.”
Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out due to concerns that they contribute to climate change. According to the Department of Energy, lighting is responsible for around 5% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions; less energy-efficient bulbs, such as incandescent ones, make a greater contribution since they generate more heat. The agency estimates that over the next 30 years, the new laws will reduce carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons, or the emissions produced by 28 million houses each year.
According to the Department of Energy, incandescent or halogen incandescent light bulbs were used in 30% of American households in 2020. Over the past two decades, restrictions on less efficient bulbs have been opposed. Some Republicans have claimed the regulations infringe “personal freedom,” while others, like former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), have contended that using energy-efficient bulbs is more cost-effective. According to a 2011 statement by Jim Presswood, director of energy policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council, “consumers, the economy, and the environment” would “suffer” if the restrictions were not passed.