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Citing Cost, Trump Pulls the Plug on Light Bulb Change

Environmental groups disagree with argument
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 4, 2019 5:15 PM CDT
Updated Sep 4, 2019 7:15 PM CDT
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President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – The Trump administration turned its deregulatory focus Wednesday to light bulbs, scrapping a rule that would have phased out the less energy-efficient incandescent bulbs. The move slows a years-long push by Congress and past administrations to switch Americans to LED bulbs and other lighting using less electricity, the AP reports. President Trump told reporters Wednesday the Energy Department canceled the pending phaseout of the targeted incandescent bulbs because "what's saved is not worth it," adding, "and price was another thing." The Energy Department announced the action ahead of the revision's publication in the Federal Register, a step toward a rule becoming final.

The rule change "will ensure that the choice of how to light homes and businesses is left to the American people, not the federal government," the Energy Department said in a statement. The administration said the more efficient bulbs would cost consumers more to buy than they would save on their electric bills. Environmental groups challenged the claim. "That's going to cost taxpayers more money, make U.S. businesses less competitive, threaten jobs and innovation and set back our efforts to combat climate change," the nonprofit Environmental Entrepeneurs advocacy group said. The rule would have kept millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere, per CNBC.

(Read more light bulbs stories.)

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