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

Mike Theiler  Getty Images

Mike Theiler Getty Images

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.

"Every family and every business can be part of the climate-change solution by using more energy-efficient appliances", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. 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.

"The Trump Administration has no legal right to stand in the way of these important standards", Ferguson said. "The Trump Administration should stop stalling and start following the law".

The suit states the administration is breaking the law by delaying new energy efficiency rules for appliances like portable air conditioners and walk-in freezers.

"In terms of reducing carbon dioxide emissions it's the equivalent of shutting down at least 6 coal fired power plants", he said.

The Energy Department said in an email that it does not comment on pending litigation. The Department estimates that federal product energy standards for all categories of appliances and equipment will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6.5 billion tons by 2030 - equivalent to taking all automobiles off the roads worldwide for almost a year and a half.

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 DOE then had 30 days to submit the standards for publication, according to the lawsuit.

Timothy Ballo, an EarthJustice attorney representing the nonprofits, said in a statement that it is unclear whether the Trump administration is refusing to publish the new standards because of "hostility to cost-saving regulations that benefit the environment, or whether they can not get their act together to publish documents that have already been approved and signed".

At issue are conservation standards for floor-standing portable air conditioners, commercial boilers that heat office and apartment buildings, walk-in coolers and freezers used by markets and restaurants, air compressors that power various tools, and battery chargers that provide backup power supplies for electronic products.

The suit claims that the administration's inaction is a violation of the Energy Policy Conservation Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Federal Register Act. The US Department of Energy finalized the standard May 24, according to the statement.

The U.S. Department of Energy finalized the new efficiency standards under the Obama administration. The City of NY also joined the suit.

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