Updated Aug 2, 2023, 11:10am EDT
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The U.S. bans incandescent light bulbs

USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

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The News

The U.S. implemented a ban on incandescent light bulbs Tuesday –– forcing consumers to purchase LED lights instead, which use less power to produce the same brightness.

We’ve gathered news and insights on why the landmark move is an underrated success and how it will transform the country’s energy landscape.

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  • Making the switch from incandescent to LED bulbs is like “replacing a car that gets 25 miles per gallon with another one that gets 130 m.p.g.,” Lucas Davis, an energy economist at the University of California Berkeley said, adding that its a “big energy story” that no one is really acknowledging. The Department of Energy predicts that, with the latest switch, Americans will collectively save nearly $3 billion in utility bills a year. — The New York Times
  • The move to LED bulbs was championed by former President George W. Bush, whose 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act called for bulbs to have roughly 25% greater efficiency, Jigar Shah, a Department of Energy official, wrote on LinkedIn. “Energy efficiency will continue to be the cheapest way to accommodate” the world’s growth of electricity usage owing to electric vehicles, data centers, new manufacturing plants, and heat pumps, he wrote.
  • But many Republicans and conservative media have felt threatened by the move. CNN reported that former President Donald Trump once complained that he always looked “orange” under energy-efficient lighting. Other Republican politicians have been disgruntled with the Biden administration’s move to dictate the choices of consumer household items, such as gas stoves. Rep. Andy Barr, a Republican congressman from Kentucky, tweeted Monday that by imposing a ban on incandescent bulbs, Biden is pushing “liberal fantasies through his weaponized federal agencies.” Barr argued that the Department of Energy should focus on “American energy independence.”