Attorney General Becerra Criticizes Department of Energy Proposal to End Cost-Saving Energy Standards for Lightbulbs

Friday, May 3, 2019
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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 16 attorneys general and the City of New York, today filed a comment letter opposing the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposal to overturn energy efficiency requirements for certain lightbulbs. The proposal by DOE would exclude decorative general service and incandescent lightbulbs from meeting heightened minimum energy efficiency requirements. These requirements – which create significant energy savings for consumers – were imposed by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act during the Obama Administration. In the letter, the Attorneys General assert that DOE’s proposal would hurt consumers who would no longer receive the economic benefits from these savings.

“It’s not very bright to cut common-sense standards that save consumers money,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The Department of Energy must get back to its mission of ensuring America’s prosperity instead of protecting the profits of companies that prefer to pollute at the expense of American consumers and our environment. We urge DOE to withdraw this senseless proposal.”

The coalition urges the DOE to maintain the stricter definitions enacted by the Obama Administration in 2017, which included decorative lightbulbs, such as candelabras and globe lamps. The original rule prohibits retailers from selling lightbulbs, including these decorative types of bulbs, that do not meet the minimum standard of 45 lumens per watt. In its current proposal, the DOE would remove decorative lightbulbs from those defined under the rule. The proposal would cost consumers $12 billion each year in lost electricity savings by 2025, or $100 per household per year.

The coalition asserts that by reversing the 2017 Lamp Rules, DOE would enact a less stringent standard in violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. In addition, the Attorneys General point out that DOE’s proposal is unlawful under the Administrative Procedure Act. 

Joining Attorney General Becerra in filing the letter are the Attorneys General of New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the District of Columbia; and the City of New York.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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