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Trump’s delay of energy efficiency standards sparks lawsuit from AG Schneiderman

The Trump administration's delay of energy efficiency standards

The Trump administration's delay of energy efficiency standards for consumer and commercial products is being opposed by a coalition led by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, pictured above. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Monday that he was leading a coalition to fight President Donald Trump’s delay of energy efficiency standards for consumer and commercial products like ceiling fans, portable air conditioners and walk-in freezers.

Schneiderman said Trump’s administration violated federal law by stalling final standards for certain products, and delaying standards for ceiling fans.

The standards, he said, would reduce air pollution — including eliminating emissions of 292 million tons of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide — as well as create energy and cost savings for consumers.

In response to the delays, Schneiderman and the coalition of attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the Department of Energy seeking a court order requiring that the standards on ceiling fan efficiency go into effect immediately. The coalition includes the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and Massachusetts, among others.

A 60-day notice of the coalition’s intent to sue the Department of Energy over the other violations was sent to the agency on Monday as well, according to Schneiderman’s office.

“Energy efficiency standards are vital to public health, our environment, and consumers,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “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.”

Last week, Schneiderman vowed to fight Trump’s executive order, which rolls back the Environmental Protection Agency’s limits on power plants burning coal, effectively eliminating the Clean Power Plan.

Schneiderman has been a vocal opposition to Trump’s moves during his first few months in office, joining lawsuits against the president’s travel bans and reminding New York school districts of their duties to protect transgender students from discrimination after the federal government withdrew its bathroom guidelines for transgender students.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With Lauren Cook


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