Twelve US states begin legal action against the Trump administration over energy delay
Twelve US states and municipalities on Monday announced legal action against the Trump administration over delayed or stalled enforcement of energy saving standards for various consumer and commercial products.
A lawsuit was filed Friday at an appeals court in New York disputing a six-month delay on ceiling fan standards coming into effect and demanding a court order to enforce them immediately, said a New York state official.
A 60-day notice of intention to sue the federal department of energy was filed Monday over apparent stalling by the Trump administration on publishing dates to introduce energy-saving standards for other products.
The standards would eliminate 292 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, save consumers and businesses $24 billion, and conserve the equivalent of 36 million households’ annual electricity consumption over a 30-year period, said the petitioners quoting from previous federal estimates.
The lawsuit was filed by the state attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, the Pennsylvania department of environmental protection and the city of New York, the most populous metropolitan area in the country.
The attorney general of Maryland joined the coalition in sending the 60-day notice regarding the other standards.
New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman said the delays meant the Trump administration was violating federal law.
The ceiling fan standard was due to come into effect on March 20, as announced one day before President Donald Trump was sworn into office.
The petitioners say the Trump administration has pushed back the date to September 30, and stalled on final standards for other items such as portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and power supply equipment.
Making good on an election promise, Trump last week moved to curb rules that underpin US emissions targets and signed an order to review some of the climate legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama.
California and New York — two of the most populous states — had already signalled that they will press ahead with climate mitigation plans.
Trump has repeatedly questioned humans’ role in warming the planet, vowed to slash Environmental Protection Agency funding and appointed anti-climate litigator Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA.
The United States is the world’s second largest polluter. Around 37 percent of domestic carbon dioxide emissions come from electricity generation.