The spending bill being negotiated by the House and Senate is expected to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Notable among the bill’s energy-related measures is its defunding of the DOE program responsible for the energy-efficient light bulb standards due to take effect in 2012. The spending bill would not overturn these standards, but would effectively block DOE’s ability to enforce them.
The standards are expected to phase out the 100 watt incandescent bulb in 2012, and phase out 40-, 60- and 75-watt incandescents by 2014. [New York Times] The standards were passed on a bipartisan basis as a part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and are anticipated to save American households $6 billion annually by 2015. The standards have received criticism from some conservatives, who argue that they are an example of government over-reach and interference with consumer freedom.