House Republican revives effort to repeal light bulb standards

Republicans aren’t giving up their fight to repeal a slew of light bulb efficiency standards that conservative groups have targeted as an example of federal overreach.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) has introduced an amendment to Energy and Water spending legislation that would repeal provisions in a 2007 energy law that require traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more efficient starting in 2012.

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Often casting the standards as a “light bulb ban,” conservatives like Rush Limbaugh have pounced on the law in recent months, arguing it amounts to the federal government restricting consumers’ choices. Republicans say the law will push out traditional incandescent bulbs in favor of more expensive, but more efficient, LED (light emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs.

Environmental and energy efficiency groups note that the standards do not ban incandescent bulbs, instead requiring them to be more efficient. While more efficient light bulbs might be more expensive at the point of sale, they save consumers money in the long term.

A bill to repeal the standards failed on the House floor earlier this week, largely because of a procedural move that required the bill to receive a two-thirds majority. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) vowed that he would continue pushing the legislation.

The Burgess amendment is slated to come up on the House floor later Thursday, but might not receive a vote until Friday, according to Burgess spokeswoman Whitney Thompson.