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Attorney General William Tong



Attorney General William Tong today applauded a decision from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, affirming the U.S. Department of Energy's obligation to publish its finalized energy efficiency standards. The decision affirms a previous order by the district court.

"This decision is a clear victory for cleaner air and more money in the pockets of consumers. Promoting energy-efficient appliances is a no-brainer. These energy efficiency standards will save consumers $8.4 billion over the next 30 years while also slashing greenhouse gas emissions. This court victory is a win for common sense," said Attorney General Tong.

The energy efficiency standards were approved by the Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at the DOE in December 2016. The standards were then required to undergo two procedural steps. The standards were required to be subjected to a 45-day period for submission of correction requests and then submitted for publication in the Federal Register, making them legally enforceable. However, the DOE only completed the first step, and failed to publish its energy efficiency standards. Connecticut joined a coalition successfully suing the DOE in 2017 for failing to comply with the law and publish its finalized standards in the Federal Register. The District Court agreed with the coalition and ordered DOE to submit the rules for publication. DOE appealed the decision and the court’s order was halted pending a ruling by the Ninth Circuit. With today’s ruling, the court affirms DOE’s obligation to publish the standards in the Federal Register.

Over a 30-year period, these energy efficiency standards will save consumers an estimated $8.4 billion and are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98.8 million tons. That is comparable to taking more than 21 million cars off the road for one year. In the lawsuit, the States confirmed their significant interests in increased energy efficiency and reduced energy use in order to protect their populations and environments. The coalition of attorneys general highlighted the commitment of the States to compel the Trump Administration to adhere to the law and publish these energy efficient standards.

California Attorney General Becerra and New York Attorney General James led this lawsuit along with the attorneys general of Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, along with the California Energy Commission and the City of New York.

Assistant Attorney General Robert Snook and Assistant Attorney General Matt Levine, Head of the Environment Department, assisted the Attorney General in this matter.
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