Economy

11 states sue Trump's DOE over stalled energy-use limits

11 states sue Trump's DOE over stalled energy-use limits

The attorney generals of Massachusetts, New York, Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, and California are among other attorney generals in filing a complaint against the Trump administration. Perry delayed the date that the ceiling-fan rules were to take effect and looked set to delay or ignore five other energy efficiency rules for the air conditioner and power-supply group as well. Delaying them is not only illegal, but it also saddles consumers with unnecessary electricity costs, hurts manufacturers who have begun making investments to meet the standards, and create yet another roadblock by the Trump administration to a commonsense effort to address climate change. "I will not hesitate to go to court to ensure that the Trump administration can not block commonsense standards like these from going into effect".

A U.S. Department of Energy spokesperson said in an email that the agency "does not comment on pending litigation". It has also stopped tracking the federal government's carbon emissions.

Federal regulations do allow for a 45-day "Error Correction" window, but such corrections are limited to typographical, calculation, or numbering mistakes; it is not intended as an opportunity for a new administration to revise the underlying rule.

In April, Ferguson, along with 10 other states, served notice on the Department of Energy of their intent to file suit if the Department did not end its delay in publishing the new standards for walk-in coolers and freezers, power supplies, portable air conditioners, commercial boilers and compressors.

According to the complaints, federal law requires that the new standards be published in the federal register after a mandatory 45-day review period meant to give the agency time to correct any typos, miscalculations or numerical errors.

The other suit, challenging the same delays, was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Consumer Federation of America.

The complaints claim the failure to publish and implement the new standards violates the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Federal Register Act.

"These common-sense energy efficiency standards are vital to our public health, our environment, and consumers' pocketbook", said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a statement. If the new standards are not published, they can not go into effect.

After the states filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in April over delays with new ceiling fan standards, the administration chose to publish the new standards for ceiling fans, allowing them to go into effect.

Plaintiffs in both suits seek an injunction requiring the Department of Energy to publish and execute the new efficiency standards.


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