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Maine is now suing President Trump over light bulbs

President Donald Trump flanked by two of the Attorneys General suing his administration over light bulbs. Left: New York Attorney General Letitia James. Right: Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey.

AUGUSTA – Maine’s political left is apparently not willing to settle for banning plastic bags, balloons and other bans and restrictions in the Maine Legislature so now they are taking the fight to the courts. Maine’s Attorney General, chosen by Democrats in the Maine Legislature, is now suing the Trump Administration over light bulbs in partnership with a number of other liberal attorneys general. The suit continues a pattern started by his predecessor, Janet Mills, in filing lawsuits against the the President.

At issue is the Trump Administration’s decision to reverse rules drafted under President Obama that impose new regulations or restrictions on seven types of light bulbs which make up about three billion, or half of all fixtures and lamps in American homes.

The stricter rules the Trump Administration has decided not to implement were put in place in 2017 under President Obama.

Maine is among a group of states, led by New York, suing for the stricter regulations laid out in the Obama-era rules. Other states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the City of New York.

Defending the decision in the rule, the U.S. Department of Energy wrote, “This rule does not prevent consumers from buying the lamps they desire, including efficient options. The market is successfully transitioning to LEDs regardless of government regulation. Consumers are clearly taking advantage of the energy savings provided by LEDs.”

The Trump Administration’s argument is essentially that with the rising popularity of LED as a lighting technology, the rule is not needed. They also argue that the American consumer is better served with more choices and competition in the market than a heavily regulated market with fewer options.

Supporters of the Obama-era rule argue that only the most efficient light bulbs should be allowed. They say that minimizing energy consumption is critical in their fight against climate change.

Past restrictions on light bulbs have been controversial, with traditional light bulbs being banned and more expensive, but energy efficient bulbs being mandated. Some consumers have opposed the mandates because of the cost of bulbs, while other, more environmentally conscious consumers have argued that the new CFL and LED lights actually qualify as hazardous waste under some state regulations.

They say research shows the new bulbs are no better for the environment than the traditional bulbs, but that the pollution is different and at the end of the life of the bulb.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States’ Second District Court of Appeals.

Attorney General Aaron Frey and Assistant Attorney General Katherine Tierney are listed as filing for Maine in the lawsuit.

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