Energy & Environment

Trump administration sued for failing to update efficiency standards for 25 appliances

Separate coalitions of 13 states and six environmental groups filed two lawsuits against the Trump administration Wednesday after it failed to update energy efficiency standards for 25 types of appliances.

The standards cover appliances ranging from dishwashers to refrigerators to air conditioners that, without federal guidelines for efficiency improvements, may cost consumers an extra $580 billion in energy costs and release 2 billion metric tons of carbon emissions by 2050.

“It’s astonishing that the Trump administration is failing to carry out this common-sense law that saves people money and reduces air pollution,Howard Crystal, legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Energy Justice Program, said in a release. 

“The climate crisis demands we do everything possible to reduce carbon emissions to ensure a livable planet, and we can’t afford to let the Department of Energy abdicate its responsibility.”

The suits target the Department of Energy, which is required to update appliance standards every six years.

The move follows other actions taken by the department to roll back efficiency standards for lightbulbs and another rule to exempt quick wash dishwashers from energy efficiency standards–even though most dishwashers already meet them.

President Trump has been particularly vocal about efficiency matters, complaining about lightbulbs and low flow shower heads and toilets at campaign rallies.

“The Trump administration’s abject failure to implement the energy conservation program is part of a broader pattern of disregard for consumers’ interests, climate change and basic common sense,” said David J. Hayes, executive director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, which helped coordinate the state effort. 

“The administration is allowing appliances to consume more energy, while also seeking to ensure that the power grid itself remains dependent on more expensive, more polluting sources of electricity. Consumers pay the price at every step.”

The Department of Energy did not respond to request for comment.

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