Mr. ISRAEL. Mr. Chair, I rise to oppose attempts to weaken energy efficiency standards for lighting that were included in the bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Plain and simple--these attempts to do away with energy efficiency standards will hurt our competitive advantage against China.
America's lighting industry has invested millions of dollars to manufacture new energy efficient incandescent light bulbs here in the United States. These bulbs produce the same type of light as the former bulbs but use 28 percent to 33 percent less energy. An amendment to prohibit enforcement of the energy efficiency standards is an attack on our domestic lighting industry. Denying the Department of Energy the power to enforce an existing law opens the door to the importation of non-compliant products from foreign manufacturers that will not only harm the investments made by American manufacturers but put American jobs at risk.
The current lighting efficiency standards are creating American jobs because the manufacturing of these light bulbs is done in the United States. Most of the operations producing less efficient lighting were moved offshore years ago. We are creating American jobs making better light bulbs that meet the new standards. The energy-efficient lighting industry currently employs more than 14,000 American workers. I do not want to send those jobs to China!
The light bulb has been a symbol of American ingenuity since the late 1800s. When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, it revolutionized our economy and electricity around the world. If America wants to lead, we need to become more efficient. That is the way of the future.
Supporting America's energy-efficient lighting industry is about more than jobs.
It's about saving money, saving each American household $100 per year in the form of lower electric bills. I know my constituents want that $100 in their pockets.
That is why I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing any amendment that would prohibit the Department of Energy from utilizing energy efficiency standards for lighting to help save money and energy while supporting U.S. manufacturing.