By April 3, 2017 Read More →

Trump challenged over energy efficiency standards by states, municipalities

Energy efficiency

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the Trump administration is blocking six standards that could result in dramatic reductions in air pollution and cost savings to consumers and businesses. Getty Images file photo by Drew Angerer.

Energy efficiency standards in consumer, commercial products could save $24 billion

The Trump administration is facing legal action from a coalition of states and municipalities who say the obstruction of implementation of energy efficiency standards violates federal law.

The lawsuit is being led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who says the administration is blocking six standards that would offer dramatic reductions in air pollution as well as energy and cost savings to consumers and businesses.

“Energy efficiency standards are vital to public health, our environment, and consumers. This is yet another example of how the Trump administration’s polluter-first energy policy has real and harmful impacts on the public health, environment – and pocketbooks – of New Yorkers,” Attorney General Schneiderman said.

According to Schneiderman, the standards cover several common consumer and commercial products, including ceiling fans, portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and freezers and commercial boilers.

The Department of Energy reports if the standards were imposed, 292 million tons of carbon dioxide, 734 tons of the pollution that creates soot and smog, 1.2 million tons of methane and over 1,000 pounds of mercury would be eliminated over a 30-year period.

The Appliance Standard Awareness Project estimates the energy efficiency standards would save over 443 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.

“By blocking these common sense standards, the administration is reversing progress in cleaning the air we breathe and fighting climate change – and denying consumers and businesses some $24 billion in savings,” said Schneiderman.

Schneiderman accuses the Trump Department of Energy of violating both the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act and Administrative Procedures Act.  Schneiderman says the DOE is delaying the effective date of final energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans and stalling final standards for a number of consumer and commercial appliances by failing to publish them in the Federal Register.

Schneiderman says the delays are illegal and violate the EPCA’s “anti-backsliding” provisions by effectively weakening the final standards published in January

Joining Schneiderman in the lawsuit concerning ceiling fans are the Attorneys General of the states of California,Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the City of New York.

The same coalition, plus the Attorney General of Maryland, are joining Attorney General Schneiderman in sending a 60-day notice regarding the other standards.


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