Traditional lightbulbs not going away ... yet
Traditional light bulbs are not going away after all. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill struck a deal late Thursday to at least temporarily reverse earlier plans that would have effectively done away with the incandescent bulb that has been around since the 19th century.
President George W. Bush signed legislation in 2007 to raise efficiency standards on lightbulbs in 2012 to the point that the traditional bulb would have been rendered obsolete.
Speaker John Boehner vowed to overturn the higher efficiency standards when he took control of the House of Representatives in January and the deal struck Thursday follows through on that promise.
Republicans and Democrats added language to a must-pass annual spending bill that would essentially defund the Energy Department's ability to mandate the change, at least through the end of September, when the budget year ends.
It is unclear what will happen thereafter, as the new standards will remain on the books, even if there is no way for the government to enforce the new rules. The compromise language is expected to pass Congress when lawmakers vote on the broader budget compromise that keeps the government running on Friday or in the next few days.
Environmentalists say the higher standards are just common sense way to conserve energy, while many conservatives object to the government's interference with consumer choice.
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