Energy Department to reconsider Obama energy efficiency rule

Energy Department to reconsider Obama energy efficiency rule

The Energy Department is gearing up to request information about the agency’s energy efficiency rule for air compressors, indicating it could consider rewriting an Obama-era regulation the Trump administration froze earlier this year.

In a draft copy of a Federal Register filing, DOE officials say they want to collect information related to the efficiency ruling and also delay implementation of the rule later this year while reviewing the details.

In the filing, DOE said it has “received correspondence, raising concerns that certain issues and information may not have been fully considered during the original rule making proceeding and also indicating further clarification may be needed to implement the rule as adopted.”

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The Obama administration finalized its rule for compressors in early January, establishing procedures for testing compressors' energy efficiency and making other technical changes.

The rule was one of several caught up in a regulatory freeze instituted by President Trump after he took office, and administration officials never published the final rule in the Federal Register.

In March, before that freeze ended, DOE said it would continue to postpone efficiency testing procedures for compressors, as well as those for walk-in coolers and freezers, central air conditioners and heat pumps.

Last month, a group of state attorneys general and environmental groups sued over the Trump administration’s decision to stop the rule and others from taking effect.