U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a strong advocate for energy-efficiency policy, issued the following statement after Republicans in the House of Representatives inserted a rider into the "omnibus' appropriations package sent to the Senate Friday:
"I am disappointed and dumbfounded that a Tea Party provision adopted by the House will delay enforcement of the light bulb efficiency standards created with bipartisan support four years ago. These common-sense standards have been strongly supported both by industry and the environmental community, and would have led to more choice in the marketplace and reduced costs for consumers. Energy-efficient lighting products can save Americans a combined $13 billion on their energy bills annually -- that's the equivalent of a tax cut of more than $50 per household per year.
"Industry has been clamoring for greater regulatory certainty during this difficult economic recovery, but, frustratingly, this Tea Party provision does the opposite. I am deeply disappointed that these standards were blocked literally weeks before being implemented, but comforted that the five largest lighting manufacturers already have compliant 100-watt bulbs in stores for consumers. I will continue to work to support policies that promote energy efficiency and the full implementation of these standards."
Senator Coons is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.