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Court orders Energy Dept. to put energy standards into effect

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman secured a federal court ruling requiring national energy efficiency standards go into effect on Thursday, February 15, 2018.

Attorneys General Becerra and Schneiderman led a coalition that sued the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on June 13, 2017, for refusing to implement these standards in violation of the law. Other states in the lawsuit included Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington. The city of New York is also a plaintiff.

U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria, of the Northern District of California, ruled that Department of Energy (DOE) violated its error correction regulation under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act by failing to publish in the Federal Register finalized energy efficiency standards for portable air conditioners and other products.

The products at issue in the lawsuit include portable air conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies, air compressors, and commercial packaged boilers. There are currently no national standards for these products, according to the state’s lawsuit.

The energy efficiency standards were approved by the Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at DOE in December 2016. As is required by law, the standards then underwent two procedural steps. First, there was a period of 45-days for submission of any correction requests.

Once this first step was completed, the DOE was supposed to make any necessary corrections and then submit the rules for publication in the Federal Register, making the rules legally enforceable. The DOE failed to complete this final step.

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“The Trump administration has made a point of rolling back basic, common-sense energy efficiency standards – putting polluters before everyday New Yorkers and Americans,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.

“Our coalition of Attorneys General has made clear that we’ll use every tool at our disposal to protect our public health, our environment, and consumers’ pocketbooks. Today’s court decision is an important victory in fighting back against the Trump Administration’s ‘polluter first’ agenda. We will continue to fight to ensure the Trump administration meets its obligations to New Yorkers and the law.”

Attorney General Becerra said, “The California Department of Justice will continue to hold the Trump Administration, indeed all polluters, accountable. The stakes could not be higher – climate change is the most important global environmental issue of our time. Our citizens have a right to be part of the climate change solution.”

To read the court’s ruling in this case, GO HERE.

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