Attorneys General from California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Maryland, as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the City of New York are leading the effort.
The coalition lawsuit, filed in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, seeks a court order to require the standards to go into effect immediately.
The six standards in question would over a 30-year period eliminate from the atmosphere as much as 292 million tons of carbon dioxide, 734 thousand tons of the soot and smog, 1.2 million tons of methane and more than 1,000 pounds of highly-toxic mercury, according to the Federal Energy Department (DOE).
Over the same time, the standards would save more than 443 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity – the equivalent annual consumption of more than 36 million households, according to the Appliance Standard Awareness Project.
What’s more, consumers and businesses would save $23.8 billion, according to DOE.
“Energy efficiency standards are vital to public health, our environment, and consumers. 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,” Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, said.
“By blocking these common sense standards, the administration is reversing progress in cleaning the air we breathe and fighting climate change – and denying consumers and businesses some $24 billion in savings,” he added.
The Trump administration is violating the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) and Administrative Procedures Act (APA) by delaying the effective date of final energy efficiency standards
Those standards affect ceiling fans, compressors, walk-in coolers and freezers, power supply equipment, portable air conditioners and commercial boilers.
The Trump Administration has delayed the rule’s effective date twice – most recently pushing it back to Sept. 30, 2017.
The delays, however, violate EPCA’s “anti-backsliding” provisions by effectively weakening the final standards published in January, and violate the APA by being undertaken without the public notice and comment required by law when substantive changes are made to published final rules.
The administration claims that stalling the standards was a non-substantive action, and that seeking public input on the delay would be “impractical, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest.”