POLITICO expounded on the incandescent light bulb ban, saying the Department of Energy (DOE) "will fully enforce regulations that the old bulbs can't meet, effectively prohibiting their retail sale." The department stressed its intention to "seek the maximum civil penalty" against manufacturers that "knowingly distribute products" flouting these regulations.
"The quiet phaseout of household incandescents showcases the power of government regulations to push changes in the marketplace. But the process can take many years. Washington's political and culture war over light bulbs stretches back to the [second] Bush administration, when Congress set the more stringent regulations into motion." (Related: Australia bans incandescent light bulbs with three-year phase-out.)
POLITICO pointed out that the larger fight over energy efficiency standards still looms ahead, with Republican lawmakers denouncing the Biden administration's efficiency actions on a plethora of appliances. Congressional GOP members are pushing back against the DOE's new standards for cooking appliances such as gas stoves, electric stoves and ovens.
"Advocates say the rule would save consumers money on natural gas and lessen a source of greenhouse gas pollution. [However], critics point to DOE estimates that only about half of gas stoves now in the market could meet the proposed standards – something they contend amounts to a de-facto ban."
Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) said in a statement to POLITICO: "The light bulb rule going into effect this summer is just another example of the Biden administration’s tidal wave of regulatory burdens crashing down on American families."
The congressman – who chairs the House Oversight Committee's energy policy and regulatory affairs subcommittee – said the DOE "is flooding homes" with new energy efficiency standards for appliances, including the "reckless" transition to LED bulbs. According to Fallon, these new standards translate to reduced choices and higher costs for Americans.
Alliance for Market Solutions Executive Director Alex Flint meanwhile said: "Light bulb efficiency standards became a symbol in some [GOP members'] resistance to expansion of the regulatory state."
"It's lights out for the incandescent bulbs that people have known, changed and singed their hands on for 140 years. The modern descendant of Thomas Edison's most famous legacy is set to formally meet its demise in the U.S.," POLITICO wrote. Despite the ban, the DOE's rules offer some exceptions that permit some incandescent bulbs to stay on the shelves.
Chris Menahan of Information Liberation put in his two cents on the ban. He recounted how compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs were touted as the alternative to incandescent bulbs.
"CFL bulbs, the alternative at the time, literally induced migraine headaches in otherwise healthy people. When they broke, a hazmat team was needed to clean up the mercury they released."
Menahan also noted that the other half of the country still appears to be using mostly incandescent bulbs, compared to less than half of American homes. Citing data from the Energy Information Administration, he said only 47 percent of U.S. households reported using LED bulbs for most indoor lighting in 2020. This amounted to a 43 percent increase compared to 2015 numbers that reported only four percent of households using LED bulbs.
According to the Information Liberation publisher, the light from incandescent bulbs have a score of 100 on the color rendering index (CRI) – meaning the light from incandescents is identical to sunlight. In contrast, the best LED bulbs only have a CRI score of around 90.
"It's still not clear what incandescent will survive this ban. There are some exemptions for certain specialty bulbs, but I can't find a definitive list anywhere," wrote Menahan. "Nonetheless, as is now the norm, the plebs must be made to suffer to advance the 'liberal world order.'"
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Watch this NewsNation report about the Energy Department's ban on incandescent light bulbs.
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