During a winding, hour-long speech to House Republicans in Baltimore on Thursday, Trump took aim at environmental policies supported by Democrats, including the Green New Deal.
He also made time to swipe at the prevalence of efficient lightbulbs, such as LED lighting, which had been supported by efficiency standards that his administration reversed earlier this month, before they could officially take effect.
Explaining his thinking in his Thursday speech, the president said, “The bulb that we’re being forced to use — No. 1, to me most importantly, the light is no good. I always look orange, and so do you. The light is the worst.” (His joke, whether self-deprecating or not, was met with applause from other lawmakers in the room.)
“No. 2, it’s many times more expensive than that old incandescent bulb that worked very well,” Trump, 73, continued.
In fact, Bloomberg recently reported, citing groups supporting the measures, that “the standards, which had been scheduled to take effect in January 2020, applied to roughly half of the six billion light bulbs in use today, and would save consumers billions of dollars in energy costs and avoid millions of tons in carbon dioxide emissions.”
The New York Times reported that “eliminating inefficient bulbs nationwide would save electricity equivalent to the output of at least 25 large power plants, enough to power all homes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to an estimate by the Natural Resources Defense Council.”
The requirements rolled back by the Trump White House would have “all but ended the era of the incandescent bulb,” according to the Times.
The U.S. Energy Department’s website describes LED lighting this way: “Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting.”
“It makes zero sense to eliminate energy-saving light bulb standards that will save households money on electricity bills and cut climate change emissions by reducing the amount of coal and gas burned in power plants,” Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, told Bloomberg.
The regulations had been opposed by manufacturers who cited concerns about job loss and market freedoms, according to Bloomberg.
Elsewhere in his Thursday speech, Trump criticized more efficient bulbs for being too fragile and becoming “hazardous waste” when they break, exposing other people to the “gasses inside.”
The president has resisted the widespread scientific consensus on man-made climate change and spoken derisively of alternative energy, such as wind power.
On Thursday he also promised, without elaboration, “to solve” the old-school incandescent bulbs — “and people are so happy about it.”