While most of the media was sternly focused on the very, very serious issue of “SharpieGate,” the Trump administration took advantage of the idiotic distraction to do some good for the American consumer. Specifically, the Department of Energy rolled back burdensome energy regulations that forced many forms of lightbulbs off the shelves.
The Hill reports:
DOE argued its rule will have little impact given the increasing demand for LED bulbs, which use less electricity than many other types.
“This rule does not prevent consumers from buying the lamps they desire, including efficient options,” the agency wrote in the rule. “The market is successfully transitioning to LEDs regardless of government regulation. Consumers are clearly taking advantage of the energy savings provided by LEDs.”
A senior DOE official told reporters that “concerns may be overstated” and the new rule would not have a large impact on the market.
“This regulation gives consumers more choices, and consumers are better off with more choices,” he said.
Indeed, even for the scant attention this regulatory rollback has gotten from the media, what criticism there has been is plainly overdone. This new rule will not affect the regulations governing standard pear-shaped bulbs, instead affecting only the requirements that currently exist on the other half of the bulb market – recessed lighting, chandeliers, and other bulb shapes. As for the bulbs most commonly used for home purposes, the LEDs will remain king.
Indeed, as the DOE pointed out, they will probably remain king anyway, simply because consumers prefer their long-lasting efficiency. But that’s the great thing about a (truly) free market; the best solutions will naturally rise to the top. That’s exactly why we don’t need a lot of Washington-induced red tape forcing consumers and businesses into an innovation-stifling box. Trump’s administration is doing us a big favor by removing those rules and restoring freedom to the marketplace.
Critics of the rule, in addition to complaining about the “pollution” such a rollback will engender, are idiotically suggesting that households will be paying $100 more a year because of the Trump administration’s actions. This is, of course, absurd. The Department of Energy did not ban LEDs from stores. Americans are still free to purchase the efficient lighting choices available to them. They will simply now have a choice about it.
Isn’t that what this country is supposed to be all about?
Well, not according to some.