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Attorneys General, including Dana Nessel, sue Trump administration over energy standards

Posted at 5:04 PM, Nov 18, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, joined by 15 other attorneys general and the city of New York, is suing the Trump administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) for failing to meet legal deadlines for updating national energy efficiency standards.

The efficiency standards are for 25 categories of common consumer and commercial products, as well as industrial equipment. These include home appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators and freezers, microwave ovens, room air conditioners and water heaters.

The missed deadlines for updating the majority of the standards — set by Congress in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) — have been within the last four years.

“The Trump administration has neglected to develop or maintain key energy efficiency standards, and this failure will ultimately cost consumers upward of $580 billion and could prove detrimental to our environment,” Nessel said. “These updated standards are long overdue. It’s time for the administration to meet its legal responsibilities and finally strengthen these critically important measures for the benefit of both consumers and our natural resources.”

In the lawsuit the coalition argues that the DOE’s failure to meet deadlines for reviewing and strengthening energy efficiency standards violates EPCA. The suit further charges that the DOE’s failure to meet these deadlines deprives the states, citizens and businesses of the benefits they would have recieved from strengthened standards. The suit claims these include lower energy bills, a more reliable electricity grid, and reduced emissions of harmful air pollutants that contribute to climate change and harm public health.

The coalition is asking the court to require the DOE to comply with the EPCA’s statutory deadlines and other requirements according to an expedited schedule.

Attorney General Nessel joins the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, and the city of New York in filing this lawsuit.

A copy of the lawsuit is available here.

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