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Trump administration pulls plug on energy-efficient bulb rules

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Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday issued a new rule reversing a requirement for all new light bulbs to be energy-efficient by 2020, a move welcomed by industry but strongly criticized by climate change groups.

The rollback represents the latest in the US president’s running battle since taking office against nearly all forms of environmental regulation, coming shortly after his administration axed rules limiting leaks of the greenhouse gas methane and after weakening a key wildlife protection law.

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Incandescent light bulbs, which were invented by Thomas Edison in 1878 and lose 90 percent of their energy to heat, have been on the decline since a 2007 law that mandated phased-in energy efficiency targets they could not meet.

LED bulbs, which use 20 to 25 percent of the energy of their traditional pear-shaped counterparts and last 10-25 times longer, now have the bulk of the market share.

Though they cost slightly more ($2.50 compared to $1.50 in a multipack) they make up for this in saved energy costs of $50 to $150 over their lifetime.

Halogen bulbs, a slightly more efficient version of traditional incandescents, represent about a quarter of the market according to the Association of Electrical Equipment and Medical Imaging Manufacturers (NEMA).

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On former president Barack Obama’s final day in office, his administration updated definitions under the 2007 law to include items like track lighting, candle-shaped bulbs used in chandeliers, and round globe bulbs used in bathrooms, with this final phase out set to occur by January 1, 2020.

The Trump administration has now deleted this update, arguing it was not in line with Congress’s original legislative intent and would place an extra cost burden on consumers and businesses.

“This action will ensure that the choice of how to light homes and businesses is left to the American people, not the federal government,” the Department of Energy said in a statement welcomed by NEMA, which agreed that the Obama administration had misconstrued the statute.

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But the announcement was slammed by environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, which called the move illegal because it violated “anti-backsliding” provisions that prevent the energy department from weakening standards.

Noah Horowitz, the non-profit’s director for its center for energy efficiency standards, said in a statement it would “lead to higher energy bills for homes and businesses, plus significantly more pollution harming our health and the environment due to all the extra electricity that will need to be generated.”

He added the government was moving forward with its plans “despite the fact that almost 64,000 comments were registered against the rollback,” including 37 electric utilities serving 55 million people.

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“The only support came from a few people who oppose regulations in general, five lighting companies, and their trade association,” he continued.

“Do you suppose that’s because they make more money on incandescent bulbs that burn out every year or two than from the longer-lasting, energy efficient bulbs that would have been required as of January 1?”


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Brian Williams compares Corey Lewandowski’s opening statement to the North Korean news lady

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MSNBC host Brian Williams on Tuesday noted the similarities between former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and North Korean news anchor Ri Chun Hee.

"Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who is now considering a Senate run in New Hampshire, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today," Williams reported. "It is likely his North Korean anchorwoman-quality opening remarks were meant were one viewer (Donald Trump)."

Ri, who has earned the nickname "Pink Lady," is known for her enthusiastic reading of government-approved news.

Watch the video below from MSNBC.

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‘Train-wreck of a witness’: Analysts nail ‘obstructive’ Corey Lewandowski for proving the Democrats’ case

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Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."

She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.

"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."

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CNN

WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial

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President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortes, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortes which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."

"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."

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