Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Gillibrand Protecting Light Bulb Standard

Gillibrand Protects Light Bulb Standard
Bath (WENY) -- U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says a provision in a House energy spending bill would prevent the U.S. from enforcing a new rules about light bulbs and cost the country about $12 billion.

Gillibrand was in Bath today touring the Philips light plant, and she announced a plan to fight efforts to decimate standards and keep China from flooding the U.S. market.

Gillibrand says the House provision creates a loophole for foreign businesses to sell illegal bulbs, and that would undercut manufacturers and workers here in the Southern Tier.

The standard Gillibrand is trying to protect has been in effect since January 1st. It's designed to promote the use of more efficient electricity. It requires bulbs to use at least 28 percent less electricity for the same light output.

All major U.S. light bulb manufacturers spent millions of dollars on new technology to produce these bulbs, which have been available to consumers since late last year.

But Gillibrand says countries like China are exporting too many illegal bulbs to America. She says the House provision would make matters worse -- cutting jobs, hurting investment and preventing consumer savings.

"Unfortunately, what's happening because of politics, is there's an effort to unwind these standards that would result in jobs lost here in New York, jobs lost right here at this company and a bad result for America because we wouldn't be saving those billions of dollars every single year by just using these new standards," Gillibrand said.

Company officials at Philips say their energy efficient bulbs produce the same light as older bulbs, and cost $3 less over the life of a lamp.