Rep. Joe Barton’s bill to repeal 2007 energy standards did not gain enough votes Tuesday to pass the House. Rep Michael Burgess, background, introduced an amendment Wednesday that would be included in the Energy and Water spending bill. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
House conservatives are hoping to resurrect Friday their battle to repeal a federal law that would phase out some incandescent light bulbs.
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, is sponsoring the amendment that would block funding for the Department of Energy to enforce the energy standards that would require be 30 percent more energy efficient by 2012.
Burgess said he opposes the new light bulb rule on the basis that it is “federal overreach” for the government to regulate consumer choices about how to illuminate their homes.
“The federal government can’t tell me what type of wave-length I read by at home,” he said. “The federal government has no business, no right to do that.”
The 2007 law doesn’t ban incandescent light bulbs but instead creates new efficiency standards for bulbs. Under that law, the old 100-watt incandescent bulb will disappear from store shelves in January 2012, with 75-watt, 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs following.
Supporters of the energy standards maintain that the new energy efficient bulbs save consumers money through reduced electric bills.
The Natural Resources Defense Council issued a report last Friday defending the new standards and asserting that they could save Americans $12.5 billion in energy costs nationally by 2020.
House conservatives failed earlier this week to block the new rule when repeal legislation sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, received 233 votes — a majority in the 435-member House — but didn’t receive the necessary two-thirds (290votes) required to approve legislation that would repeal the 2007 standards entirely.
By contrast, Burgess is sponsoring an amendment to an appropriations bill and therefore needs to win a simply majority vote.
Any move to repeal the 2007 law or to block its enforcement faces an uncertain future in the Senate.