The Attorney General of New York State has filed a lawsuit against President Trump and and the Department of Energy in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for “illegally blocking cost-saving, pollution-cutting energy efficiency standards.” New York is joined by the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
The Trump administration has moved to delay the implementation of energy efficiency standards for common items like coolers, air conditioners, and ceiling fans. Attorney General Schneiderman asserts that these standards will save consumer $24 billion and save 36 million homes worth of energy over the next 30 years.
In addition, the standards “cut 292 million tons of greenhouse gas pollution, 734 thousand tons of the pollution that creates soot and smog, 1.2 million tons of the potent climate change pollutant methane, and over 1,000 pounds of highly-toxic mercury, over a 30 year period.”
The root of the lawsuit lies in the assertion that the Trump Administration’s delay of efficiency standard implementation is a violation of the Environmental Policy and Conservation Act’s “anti-backsliding” provisions.
The Trump administration has made a clear choice that energy efficiency, sustainability and public health are all on the back burner, while saving corporations a few dollars on compliance is the main priority. As I argued in a post last week, deregulation may enhance the bottom-line profitability of companies in the dirty energy sector, but it won’t be bringing any jobs back, which is Trump’s justification for his regression on environmental rules. It’s the beginning of a truly frightening area, as we stand on the precipice of catastrophic climate change and double down on the policies that got us here in the first place, while the rest of the world rushes ahead to embrace sustainability. These state Attorneys General deserve a big hand for taking on the administration’s wrong-headed agenda.