New US energy standards would reverse Trump’s war on lightbulbs

(The Guardian, 9 Dec 2021) Trump’s energy department blocked a rule intended to phase out less efficient bulbs. Now Biden plans to move forward, slowly.

The Biden administration has moved to reverse the depredations endured by one of the more unusual targets of Donald Trump’s culture wars during his time as US president: the humble lightbulb.

The US Department of Energy has put forward a new standard for the energy efficiency of lightbulbs that would essentially banish the era of older, incandescent technology in favor of LED lighting.

The absence of lightbulb regulations helps worsen the climate crisis and wastes households money, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The group has found the use of wasteful incandescent lights is costing Americans nearly $300m a month in needless electricity bills and releasing 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetimes of the inefficient bulbs sold each month.

Trump, however, was not enamored by LED lights while he was in the White House. The twice-impeached president said that he looks “better under an incandescent light than these crazy lights that are beaming down”, complaining in 2019 that he “always looks orange” under LED lights. He claimed that if LEDs break they become “a hazardous waste site” and are “very dangerous with all of the gases”.

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The Guardian, 9 Dec 2021: New US energy standards would reverse Trump’s war on lightbulbs