Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan joined a coalition of states in filing a lawsuit against the US Department of Energy (DOE) for failing to publish finalized energy efficiency standards for five products: portable air conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies, air compressors, walk-in coolers and freezers, and commercial packaged boilers.
Energy efficiency standards offer dramatic air pollution reductions, as well as energy and cost-savings to consumers and businesses. The standards at issue would save consumers and businesses an estimated $24 billion over a 30-year period, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 million metric tons per year, and conserve 5.8 quadrillion BTUs of energy by 2035. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
“These efficiency standards will save Vermonters money and help the environment,” said Attorney General Donovan. “Filing this case is Vermont doing our part to help.”
The energy efficiency standards were approved by DOE in December 2016. They were then subject to an “error correction” period, after which time DOE was required to publish the rules in the Federal Register. The rules become legally enforceable once published in the Federal Register and the failure to publish them violates several federal laws.
This lawsuit follows a 60-day notice of intent to sue letter from the multi-state coalition, sent to DOE in early April. The coalition is comprised of the Attorneys General of California, New York, Washington, Maine, Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania; and the City of New York.
This latest action is one of three by Attorney General Donovan to preserve gains in energy efficiency. In late March, Vermont joined a lawsuit challenging DOE’s delay in finalizing efficiency standards for ceiling fans. Just last month, DOE announced that it would no longer delay these efficiency standards and they are expected to go into effect in September 2017. In mid-April, Vermont joined a motion to intervene in an existing lawsuit, to help defend federal efficiency standards for light bulbs.
Vermont AG: June 20, 2017