Light Bulb Manufacturers Unhappy With Republican Intervention

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U.S. light bulb manufacturers are displeased that Republican lawmakers have delayed efforts to introduce more efficient bulbs, a move that was supposed to have taken effect January 1.

According to the Web site Politico, manufacturers like General Electric, Philips, and Osram Sylvania have been planning for four years to meet the new efficiency standards, which would have banned 100-watt bulbs and required other incandescent bulbs to be 30 percent more energy-efficient.

But in negotiating a year-end spending bill last week, Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate included language that blocks the Energy Department from enforcing those rules at least until Sept. 30, 2012.

Many Republicans argue that dictating what kinds of light bulbs Americans can buy is an infringement on their personal freedoms. But the National Electric Manufacturers Association has been urging lawmakers not to delay enforcement of the new efficiency standards, arguing that light bulb makers have been planning to introduce new, more efficient bulbs since the passage of an energy law in 2007 under President George W. Bush. Under the law, incandescent bulbs were to be gradually phased out by 2015.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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