Never Give Up: GOP Still Wants Inefficient Light Bulbs

A handful of issues is standing in the way of passing omnibus spending legislation – one of them is yet another attempt to repeal the move to efficient light bulbs.

We thought this issue was put to bed when it was voted down in July, but here it is again.

At the time, an amendment passed the House which would deny funds to implement the law. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) added the amendement to the Energy Department’s Appropriations bill, the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act.

The GOP calls it government overreach, constraining consumer choice, but the facts are incandescents will still be on store shelves and anyone will be able to buy them – they will simply use 30% less energy starting in 2012.  

Upgrades in efficiency standards have been a major force behind industry innovation, competitiveness, and billions of dollars in energy savings for decades for every single appliance – from industrial motors to refrigerators and air conditioners. 

Inefficient lighting accounts for as much as 10% of electricity consumption in the US. 

The lighting industry strongly supports the new standards, saying they will help the economy. 

"This cynical move breaks faith with U.S.-based manufacturers who worked with Congress and President George W. Bush in 2007 to write the law. Since then, manufacturers have researched, re-tooled and developed new, energy-saving bulbs to meet the new standards, which are expected to save the average U.S. family about $100 and the nation as much as $12 billion each year," says Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan.

"Now manufacturers will be left in the dark, along with their workers, as they obey the law while others bypass it, because the Department of Energy will be prohibited from stopping illegal products," she adds.

Meanwhile, a new reverse vending machine that’s popping up in Europe, allows people to recycle expired light bulbs and batteries as they do for cans and bottles. 

London-based Revend Recycling and Norway-based Repant  designed and developed a machine that gives discount vouchers or other rewards to customers that recycle their old  light bulbs in the machines.

Ikea is putting the machine in stores in the UK, Germany and Denmark.

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