Fighting for a brighter future: Lawsuit seeks to stop rollback of federal energy-efficient light bulb standards

Media Contacts

U.S. PIRG, Environment America, other green and consumer groups file litigation


NEW YORK — A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit today to challenge a U.S. Department of Energy rule rolling back light bulb efficiency standards. The petition to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit calls for the court to invalidate the unlawful rollback rule, which would mean that the energy-saving Obama-era regulations would take effect as intended in January 2020.

“Old, inefficient technology uses more energy and creates more pollution. Giving the green light to the light bulb efficiency standards should be common sense,” said Rob Sargent, senior director of Environment America’s clean energy program. “Reducing energy usage is the simplest way to avoid fouling our air and water; while reducing emissions that are altering our climate.”

This rollback could result in old, energy-draining bulbs in half of the light sockets in the United States — about 2.7 billion light fixtures. Given that statistic, the light bulb efficiency standards would save twice as much energy as any other efficiency regulation in history. According to the Energy Department’s own projections, widespread use of LEDs by 2027 could save about as much energy as 44 large electric power plants produce each year.

“Any serious solution to the climate crisis will require us to reduce our energy consumption,” said Mike Landis, U.S. PIRG’s litigation director. “Our government has an obligation to contribute to those solutions, not make the situation worse. This lawsuit will hold federal officials accountable for this misguided decision.”

Over the past three years, the Trump administration has proposed or implemented rollbacks to a wide variety of regulations that protect our health and environment, notably the “clean car” fuel economy standards, the Clean Water Rule and methane standards.

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