Coalition Challenges Trump Over Delay of Energy Efficiency Rules

A coalition of states is suing the Trump administration over the delay of energy-efficiency standards for consumer and commercial products.

The group comprised of California, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington, as well as New York City, announced April 3 it had filed notice with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York seeking review of a series of actions by the U.S. Department of Energy to delay final standards for devices, including commercial boilers, ceiling fans, portable air conditioners, and walk-in coolers and freezers.

The standards are among the scores of energy-saving, Obama-era initiatives stalled under Trump. Supporters say in coming decades the new rules would cut billions of dollars from energy bills and reduce power plant emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Dating some four decades back to President Ronald Reagan, such rules now apply to about 55 different household and commercial devices. For example, a 1970s refrigerator used about four times more electricity than today's models, with much of that decline driven largely by stricter energy standards at the federal or state levels. By 2015, energy savings from existing federal standards represented 13 percent of U.S. electricity consumption and 4 percent of natural gas consumption, according to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.

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