House blocks enforcement of light bulb standards

Burgess said the federal government should not use regulations to impose standards that force consumers to buy the pricier bulbs, and said the market should be allowed to sort it out.

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"If the new energy-efficient light bulbs save money, and if they're better for the environment, we should trust our constituents to make the choice on their own move toward these bulbs," he said. "Let the market decide."

The government was authorized to impose standards for bulbs under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, although Congress has delayed implementation of the standards for several years.

Supporters of the law have said it does not ban any particular bulb, but instead requires bulbs to become more energy efficient. Democrats said incandescent bulbs are available that meet the standards, and said the law does not require the purchase of compact fluorescent bulbs.

But Burgess's amendment easily won the day — it was passed in a voice vote, and no member called for a recorded vote. His language was also voice-voted in 2012 to the energy and water spending bill.

Members are expected to consider amendments throughout the day to this year's spending bill, H.R. 2609.

In a separate voice vote, the House accepted a proposal from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) that would prohibit the use of funds to implement or enforce rules related to energy efficient ceiling fans.

Additionally, three other amendments were disposed of late Tuesday night that we missed, from:

— Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), cutting $158 million from basic energy research. Rejected in voice vote.

— Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), directing $1 million in the defense nuclear nonproliferation program toward alternatives for plutonium disposal. Rejected in voice vote.

— Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), a bipartisan proposal adjusting reporting language in the bill. Accepted Tuesday in voice vote.

— This story was updated at 2:42 p.m. to correct details about the Broun amendment.

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