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CEO DATELINE – Electrical, lighting associations drop lawsuit against California lightbulb standards

Jan. 22, 2020
By Walt Williams

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Two associations representing lightbulb manufacturers have dropped a lawsuit against California over the state adopting stricter efficiency standards for lighting than required by the federal government.

 The National Electrical Manufacturers Association and American Lighting Association announced they would not pursue their lawsuit against California after a U.S. District Court judge refused to grant a temporary injunction to prevent the state standards from going into effect at the beginning of the year. The judge also concluded that the associations would be unlikely to win the lawsuit given the state appeared to have followed the proper procedures for adopting tougher regulations, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement, NEMA General Counsel Clark Silcox said his group has long maintained there can only be one definition guiding efficiency standards for light bulbs under legislation enacted by Congress in 2007.

“The court’s decision on the temporary restraining order implies, without deciding, that there might be two definitions: one for California only and one for the rest of the country,” he said. “NEMA believes that this contradicts Congress’s clear statement that federal energy conservation regulation is a comprehensive national policy.”

President Donald Trump rolled back the federal efficiency standards in September. A coalition of environmental groups is suing to overturn that decision. One such group—the National Resources Defense Council—welcomed the associations’ decision to drop the lawsuit.

“The lighting industry finally came to its senses and discontinued its desperate efforts to block California’s common-sense light bulb efficiency standards, which are poised to save consumers billions of dollars on their utility bills,” said Noah Horowitz, director of NDRC’s Center for Energy Efficiency Standards.