Feds Impede Consumer Choice by Going Back to Incandescent Ban

(p. A16) In 2019, the Trump administration blocked a rule designed to phase out older incandescent bulbs, calling it unnecessary and an impediment to consumer choice.

With the move, the administration heeded to both industry demands as well as free market proponents who have long railed against tougher efficiency regulations for consumer appliances and goods, like energy-saving bulbs or water-saving dishwashers, as governmental overreach.

“The new bulb is many times more expensive, and I hate to say it, it doesn’t make you look as good,” Donald J. Trump, the former president, quipped at a White House meeting in 2019, referring to an early common complaint that LEDs emit a harsher light, though recent LED lights come in warmer hues. “We’re bringing back the old light bulb,” he later told a rally in Michigan.

The Biden administration has moved to reinstate the standards. But in a letter to the Department of Energy last year, NEMA, the industry group, urged federal rules to allow companies to manufacture and import inefficient bulbs for at least another year, followed by another year or more to sell out stockpiled inventory.

For the full story, see:

Hiroko Tabuchi. “Obsolete Bulbs Fill the Shelves At Dollar Stores.” The New York Times (Monday, January 24, 2022): A1 & A16.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date January 23, 2022, and has the title “Old-Fashioned, Inefficient Light Bulbs Live On at the Nation’s Dollar Stores.”)

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