Democrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules

Democrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules
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Senate Democrats are urging Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official 4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch MORE not to follow through with a rule that eliminates efficiency standards for about half the lightbulbs on the market.

The regulation, finalized by the Department of Energy in September, leaves in place rules for standard pear-shaped bulbs, while removing such requirements for recessed lighting, chandeliers and other shapes of bulbs.

“These rollbacks are indefensible, both in terms of their costs to consumers and their contravention of Congressional intent,” senators wrote in a letter spearheaded by Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey MORE (D-Mass.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Overnight Defense: Pompeo pressed on move to pull troops from Germany | Panel abruptly scraps confirmation hearing | Trump meets family of slain soldier Shaheen, Chabot call for action on new round of PPP loans MORE (D-N.H.). “These standards protect consumer budgets and the climate.”

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The senators want Perry to continue to apply the efficiency standards to the full range of bulb shapes covered under the Obama administration. 

Failing to do so, they say, will cost the average consumer an extra $100 on their electricity bill each year, while emitting 38 million metric tons of carbon annually.

The Department of Energy has argued its rule will have little impact given the increasing demand for LED bulbs, which use less electricity than many other types.

“This rule does not prevent consumers from buying the lamps they desire, including efficient options,” the agency wrote in the rule. “The market is successfully transitioning to LEDs regardless of government regulation. Consumers are clearly taking advantage of the energy savings provided by LEDs.”

But critics say the rule violates “anti backsliding” provisions that bar the Energy Department from adopting weaker efficiency standards.

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