Congress has agreed to the 2012 omnibus spending bill, which, of course, contained dozens of anti-environment riders from the GOP.
Democrats were able to eliminate most of the riders, including those that would block air and water pollution regulation, and endangered species and public lands protection.
But two key riders passed as part of the bill.
One weakens air pollution controls in the Arctic, and the other blocks funding for the Dept of Energy to enforce the new light bulb efficiency bill.
Yes, although the GOP failed in repealing the bill which establishes higher efficiency standards for light bulbs, they managed to block funding for its implementation.
"It is unfortunate that some members of Congress have inserted a provision in the federal appropriations bill seeking to derail implementation of lighting efficiency standards enacted in 2007 and signed by then-President Bush," says Steve Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
Contrary to misinformation spread by GOP opponents, the standards require incandescents to be 30% more efficient, they don't ban them. Five manufacturers are already selling bulbs that meet new standards.
"Law-abiding companies will follow the law, Nadel says, but "less scrupulous companies will take advantage of the lack of enforcement, selling products that waste energy and increase energy costs for consumers. If many manufacturers take advantage of the lack of enforcement, recent investments that these five manufacturers have made to produce efficient lamps could be undermined."
Businesses, who usually resist new regulations, are on the side of greater efficiency this time, because it positively affects their bottom line.
Light bulb manufacturers such as General Electric, Philips and Osram Sylvania say they are fuming about the "GOP bid to undercut them." They've spent four years and millions of dollars preparing for the standards, and they don't want potential "bad actors" to be able to sell inefficient light bulbs without fear of federal enforcement.
61% of Americans call the new lighting standard "a good law" and 84% say are satisfied or very satisfied with the new bulbs, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll (February 2011).
In early November, China announced it would completely eliminate incandescent light bulbs over the next five years to increase energy efficiency in the country.
The GOP-led House has cast 170 anti-environment votes in 2011, and just about every rider House leadership tries to attach to last-minute, "must pass" bills is designed to undermine environmental protections. No other issue has come under such withering attacks.