Attorneys General threaten suit over stalled DOE standards reviews

Attorneys General from 15 states, the District of Columbia and the City of New York have notified U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Dan Brouillette of their intent to file suit against the agency if it doesn’t address its statutory duty to address updated energy-efficiency standards within 60 days. The Aug. 10 letter indicates that DOE missed mandatory deadlines for updating energy-efficiency standards for 25 product categories, including walk-in coolers/freezers and commercial refrigeration equipment. In July, DOE stated its intent to review these standards for commercial refrigeration equipment, automatic commercial ice makers and walk-in coolers/walk-in freezers, plus other product categories outside of commercial foodservice equipment. These plans were announced in the spring Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions that identified the near- and long-term regulatory actions of the various federal government agencies. Since then, there has been no additional information on DOE’s timing or process.

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) mandates that DOE periodically review and update energy-conservation standards to “ensure they are as stringent as technologically feasible and economically justified.” The letter was sent to Secretary Brouillette from attorneys general in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, as well as those from the District of Columbia and the City of New York. It states that, “Significant improvements in energy efficiency, including reductions in household, residential, and commercial building energy consumption within state and local jurisdictions, are critical to meeting efficiency targets under state and local government renewable energy and climate policies.”