(TNS) — The everyday light bulb is the latest friction point between energy-conscious California and President Trump, hell-bent on shredding rules and erasing any trace of the Obama era. Sacramento is joining 14 other states and the District of Columbia in challenging plans that would drop wider use of energy efficient lighting.
Fluorescent and LED lights are brighter, last longer and use less juice. Banning the older incandescent world began a decade ago with broader requirements due to begin in January. Flipping a switch with the new bulbs can also mean less power plant emissions and a chance at stemming climate change.
That figure comes courtesy of state Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s joint lawsuit aimed at the Energy Department. That agency is reversing an order by former President Obama signed in his final days in office. His action lengthened the list of lighting sources obliged to meet energy efficient standards.
The states also want the Energy Department to increase standards for the familiar pear-shaped light bulb. While other nations are boosting efficiency guidelines, the Trump administration is refusing to do the same.
Trump can barely control himself on the topic. In offhand remarks, he cracked that “you look better with incandescent lights.” At a gathering of Republican leaders, he joked about the new bulbs: “I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst.” He’s jabbed at the bulb regulations as costly and unnecessary.
That dim-wit thinking won’t do it. Consumers and businesses already are deploying the new bulbs to reduce energy and save money with better, cleaner lighting.
The lawsuit would uphold a 2007 law that empowered Washington to phase out older bulbs. The challenge aims at “a foolish agenda that prioritizes outdated, polluting technology over the needs of the people and our environment,” Becerra said.
The courts should rein in the White House and back a sensible and thrifty policy, even if it gives a certain someone an orange hue.
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