9 States File Suit Against Department of Energy Over Energy RegulationsNine states and one city are suing the U.S. Department of Energy for failure to come through on a promise.

The nine states — Connecticut, Maine, Illinois, Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, Maryland, and Pennsylvania — along with New York City are angry that the DOE has failed to finalize energy-use limits for small, portable air conditioners. According to the plaintiffs, the new standards in question would be able to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, bolster small business, and save consumers billions of dollars in energy costs.

What’s more is that these regulations have the ability to save and conserve enough energy to power a staggering 19 million homes every year.

However, the U.S. DOE hasn’t published their information in regards to energy-use limits for air conditioners and other energy sapping electronics, which puts them in breach of a contract. So, attorney generals from each state have gotten together to file a lawsuit against the DOE via a federal court in San Francisco.

And since this means that the energy-use standards haven’t been made public, they are not legally enforceable and tons of energy is being wasted across the nation. This is because not only do these energy standards affect air conditioners, they can be used against commercially packaged boilers, freezers, uninterruptible power supplies, and air compressors. Since there is no federal energy standard for air compressors, and considering that approximately 70% of manufacturers have a compressed air system, the amount of energy this can save is astounding.

What exactly happened is that the Obama administration approved their own energy standards in December 2016. There was then a 45-day review period for the new administration to make their own changes, which they had to then publish publicly 30 days after the 45-day trial ended. The DOE never did any of this and has stayed silent for the past five months.

This lawsuit comes at a time when the Trump Administration has been trying to weaken federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. For example, the Trump Administration has ended Obama’s ban on leasing federal lands for coal mining while simultaneously stopping the tracking of the government’s own carbon emissions.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra believes that there is no time like the present to hold the federal government accountable for their withholding of this important information. In a statement announcing the lawsuit, Becerra said,

“The Department of Energy is blocking common-sense energy efficiency standards. This is absurd. The Trump Administration should stop stalling and start following the law.”

The lawsuit is asking for the DOE to simply publish the finalized standards. But in the meantime, the lawmakers are encouraging homeowners to take some small measures to ensure the energy use in their home doesn’t exceed recommended levels. For example, they recommend utilizing tankless water heaters, which have the potential to save a homeowner as much as 20% on their annual energy bills.

The Trump Administration has not yet made a public comment about this lawsuit.

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