ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT VIOLATED LAW BY NOT PUBLISHING ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over its failure to comply with the law and publish in the Federal Register finalized energy efficiency standards for five products: portable air conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies, air compressors, walk-in coolers and freezers and commercial packaged boilers.
These standards would save consumers and businesses an estimated $24 billion over a 30-year period, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 million metric tons per year, and conserve 5.8 quadrillion BTUs of energy by 2035. Madigan joined a coalition of 11 attorneys general in filing the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
“Energy efficiency standards are common-sense steps that can significantly reduce pollution and protect our environment and our health,” Madigan said. “I remain committed to ensuring Illinois residents benefit from the economic, health and environmental benefits from energy efficiency standards.”
The energy efficiency standards were approved by the Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at DOE in December 2016. As is required by law, the standards then went through two procedural steps. First, they were subject to a 45-day period for submission of correction requests. Once this period closed, the DOE had a 30-day period to submit these rules for publication in the Federal Register, which makes the rules legally enforceable.
The DOE did not complete this final step. This is a clear violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Federal Register Act.
In the lawsuit, which was filed after a 60-day notice of intent to sue letter was delivered to the Department of Energy, Madigan and the attorneys general noted that the states, including Illinois, have a significant interest in increased energy efficiency and reduced energy use, protecting the states’ population and environment, and enforcing the provisions of state laws designed to foster energy efficiency and reduce global warming related impacts. Madigan said these efforts are harmed by the DOE’s decision not to publish the energy efficiency standards as required by law.
In addition to today’s lawsuit, Madigan has condemned federal executive action to attempt to eliminate the Clean Power Plan and also opposed the drastic budget cuts proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency. Madigan has long supported the Clean Power Plan and the legal actions that led to it. The Attorney General also recently joined “We are Still In,” a broad coalition of states and localities in support of the Paris climate change agreement.
Joining Madigan in filling today’s lawsuit are attorneys general from: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington, as well as the City of New York.