States, greens sue feds over delays in energy efficiency rules

States, greens sue feds over delays in energy efficiency rules
© Getty

Environmentalists and Democratic attorneys general have sued the Trump administration over its decision to suspend implementation of several energy efficiency rules. 

Earlier this month, the administration proposed delaying six rules setting high energy efficiency standards for products such as ceiling fans, walking-in coolers and freezers, and others.

Manufacturers and industry groups had worried the standards — first proposed by the Obama administration’s Department of Energy last year — would carry high compliance costs. 

ADVERTISEMENT

But the rules’ supporters said the effort would end up saving consumers up to $23 billion through lower energy bills, while also cutting power-sector greenhouse gas emissions. 

Ten states, as well as New York City, announced Monday that they had sued over the decision to delay the rules. 

“Energy efficiency standards are vital to public health, our environment, and consumers,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.  

“This is yet another example of how the Trump administration’s polluter-first energy policy has real and harmful impacts on the public health, environment — and pocketbooks — of New Yorkers.”

Four environmental and consumer groups also announced suits against the rule delays on Monday.

“Energy efficiency standards save energy, reduce energy bills and pollution, and create good-paying jobs,” said Kit Kennedy, the director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Energy and Transportation Program. 

“The Trump administration should be embracing, not hampering, the efficiency standards program.”