13 state AG’s win ruling against White House


Combined Sources
Friday, February 16, 2018

A federal judge ruled Thursday in favor of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and 12 other state attorneys general, ordering the Trump Administration to implement critical energy efficiency standards that will save consumers $8.4 million over the next 30 years and result in major reductions in air pollution.

The ruling in San Francisco comes in a case filed by the coalition of attorneys general last June against the federal Department of Energy for violating federal law and harming consumers, the environment, public health, natural resources, and the economy by refusing to implement the standards.

The ruling ordered the Trump administration to implement energy-use limits for portable air conditioners and other products that were adopted during the last days of the Obama presidency.

The U.S. Department of Energy was required to put the energy efficiency standards into effect after a 45-day period to identify any errors and did not have the authority to continue to assess them, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said.

The ruling came in two lawsuits — one filed by New York, California and other states and the other by environmental groups.

“This ruling means that Rick Perry can no longer block these common sense, energy and money saving standards,” said Healey. “This is a huge victory for our environment, consumers, and our growing clean energy economy. We will continue take action against the administration when it does things that are illegal and harmful to our states and our residents.”

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately comment. The lawsuits over the energy standards are among a spate of legal actions challenging decisions by the Trump administration to roll back environmental protections.

The states argued that the new standards would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save businesses and consumers billions of dollars, and conserve enough energy to power more than 19 million households for a year.

Chhabria gave the DOE 28 days to publish the standards — the step needed to make them legally enforceable.

The standards at issue also cover air compressors, commercial packaged boilers and uninterruptable power supplies. There is currently no federal energy standard for air compressors, uninterruptable power supplies or portable air conditioners, according to the states’ lawsuit.

Chhabria said the Trump administration did not have the authority to assess, modify or withdraw an energy standard after that period.

The other states in the lawsuit are: Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Maryland. The City of New York is also a plaintiff.