Media Release

Cutting Off Funds to Enforce Energy-Efficient Lighting Rules Encourages Illegal Black Market for Energy-Wasting Bulbs

Release Date: Thursday, July 14, 2011

Washington, D.C., July 14, 2011 – The Alliance sharply denounced an anticipated appropriations amendment to cut off funding for enforcement of energy-efficient lighting standards enacted in 2007.

“This wrong-headed amendment would encourage and condone an illegal, underground black market for manufacturers of energy-wasting products that may cost consumers little up front but would put a strain on their wallets in the long term and drain U.S. energy resources and jobs,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan.

Amendment Would Hurt American Manufacturers

“This cynical move also breaks faith with U.S.-based manufacturers who worked with Congress and President George W. Bush in 2007 to write the law," Callahan continued.

Since 2007 manufacturers have researched, re-tooled and developed new, energy-saving bulbs to meet the new standards, which are expected to save the average U.S. family about $100 and the nation as much as $12 billion each year.

"Now manufacturers will be left in the dark, along with their workers, as they obey the law while others bypass it, because the Department of Energy will be prohibited from stopping illegal products,” Callahan said.

Manufacturers Support Energy-Efficient Lighting

Alliance Associates that are already producing energy-efficient lighting products are also weighing in to oppose the amendment:

  • “It’s a common misunderstanding that the incandescent light bulb has been banned. It has not been banned, it’s just becoming more efficient. Consumers now have even more choices than before. No longer is a compact fluorescent bulb the only choice for an energy-saving light,” said Randy Moorhead, vice president, government affairs, Philips Electronics.
  • “The United States has been a country of innovation,” said Jim Crowcroft, VP of Marketing for TCP. “We invented the light bulb, and now Congress is thwarting the efforts of American companies to improve it and save money for consumers, businesses and workers.”
  • “In the past three years, Cree has created nearly 1,000 jobs making LEDs in North Carolina to serve the continued adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting that pays for itself,” said Greg Merritt, vice president of marketing and government relations, Cree.

Lawmakers Should Consider Negative Ramifications

Making the lighting efficiency standard toothless through defunding enforcement would stymie considerable progress made over the last four years in saving consumers money through energy-efficient lighting options.

"To deny the federal government funding to enforce a duly enacted law is tantamount to encouraging Americans to break any law they don’t agree with – something our lawmakers should think twice about," said Callahan.

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