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. EU Backs Cutting Duties On Chinese Light-Bulbs

The environmental pressure group WWF called in June for the duties to be dropped because such light bulbs, which use only 20 percent of the energy consumed by traditional bulbs, would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Jul 26, 2007
The European Union gave initial backing Thursday to a plan to drop anti-dumping duties on energy saving Chinese-made light bulbs despite a German push for their renewal, a European Commission spokesman said. During talks in Brussels, a majority of trade experts from the EU's 27 members approved a Commission proposal to dump the six-year-old duties, which run as high as 60 percent and expire in mid October if not renewed.

"The outcome of the discussions puts the Commission in a position to proceed with a formal proposal to end the duties," spokesman for trade issues Peter Power told AFP.

"A majority of member states indicated that they expected to be in a position to support the proposal" when it is formally made to member states in September, he added.

While he declined to say which countries wanted to keep the duties, Power said that German lightning company Osram, a subsidiary of Siemens, had sought a renewal.

Although Osram itself produces some light-bulbs for the European market in China, it sought to have the duties renewed because they hit Dutch rival Philips even harder since it has more production in China.

"It is a question of commercial competition between two European companies," he said. "Meanwhile, consumers pay up to 60 percent more for their light bulbs with these duties in place and energy efficient and envirnmental gains are reduced."

The environmental pressure group WWF called in June for the duties to be dropped because such light bulbs, which use only 20 percent of the energy consumed by traditional bulbs, would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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MIT Researchers Work Toward Spark-Free, Fuel-Efficient Engines
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In an advance that could help curb global demand for oil, MIT researchers have demonstrated how ordinary spark-ignition automobile engines can, under certain driving conditions, move into a spark-free operating mode that is more fuel-efficient and just as clean. The mode-switching capability could appear in production models within a few years, improving fuel economy by several miles per gallon in millions of new cars each year. Over time, that change could cut oil demand in the United States alone by a million barrels a day. Currently, the U.S. consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil a day.

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