Court Rules Obama-Era Energy Efficiency Standards Should Proceed


Trump administration dealt another blow in the courts


Timothy Ballo, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5209

Today, a federal court ruled that a suite of energy efficiency rules advanced during the Obama administration must move forward, despite a Trump administration attempt to scrap the rules.

A coalition of states and environmental groups had sued the Trump administration in June 2017 arguing that the Department of Energy was not permitted to abandon the rules. Judge Vince Girdhari Chhabria issued a nine-page ruling today.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, and Earthjustice, representing Sierra Club, Consumer Federation of America, and Texas ROSE, joined attorneys general from the states of California, New York, Washington, Maine, Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania as well as the District of Columbia, City of New York, and California Energy Commission in suing the Trump administration over the four stalled  energy efficiency standards.

“These commonsense energy efficiency standards were inches away from being put into action and saving the American people billions on their electric bills. The only thing standing in the way of increased cost savings and decreased climate pollution was the Trump administration. Thankfully, the legal system has dealt yet another blow to the harmful and misguided Trump agenda, and protected the interests of the American people,” said Earthjustice Attorney Tim Ballo.

The rules that the Trump administration had sought to derail required increased energy efficiency standards for portable air conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies (the battery backup systems used to keep computers and other electronic devices running when the power goes out), air compressors used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications, and packaged boilers that heat one-fourth of the nation’s commercial space. Combined, the efficiency standards could save American consumers as much as $8 billion in energy bills, while avoiding 18 million metric tons of climate pollution over 30 years.

Read the legal document.

Portable air conditioners are among the appliances affected by the strengthened energy efficiency standards.
Portable air conditioners are among the appliances affected by the strengthened energy efficiency standards. (Rick Cameron / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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