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E&C Democrats Demand Information on the Trump DOE’s Troubling Record on Energy Efficiency Standards

Nov 1, 2018
Press Release
Administration’s Delays or Proposed Rollbacks Will Cost Consumers Billions, While Also Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Energy Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) wrote to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry today requesting information regarding DOE’s troubling record on Appliance and Equipment Standards Program rulemakings since the start of the Trump Administration.  According to DOE documents and reports, the agency has failed to publish energy efficiency standards already adopted and finalized, and has failed to establish and update appliance and equipment standards as required by federal law.

The Democrats’ request follows news of yet another planned DOE rule rollback.  The agency plans to roll back energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs that are estimated to save consumers more than $665 billion through 2050.

“We are deeply concerned that DOE’s failure to fulfill its statutory responsibilities under the Appliance and Equipment and Standards Program will result in significantly higher costs for consumers, while also increasing greenhouse gas emissions,” the Democrats wrote.  “DOE’s inability or unwillingness to meet legal obligations ignores Congress’ intent that efficiency standards be regularly updated to provide continuous benefits to consumers.”

The Democrats are particularly concerned about DOE’s illegal failure to publish Final Energy Conservation Standards that could cost consumers $8 billion, the rollback of commonsense Lightbulb Efficiency Standards, and the agency’s missed statutory or judicial deadlines for more than 20 rulemakings that have the potential to cumulatively save consumers over $445 billion on their utility bills.

DOE estimates that efficiency standards completed from 1987 to 2016 would, by 2030, save American businesses and homes nearly $2 trillion on utility bills and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 7 billion metric tons.

Pallone, Rush, and DeGette are requesting the following information from DOE:

  • A current list of DOE Appliance and Equipment Standards Program rulemakings with missed statutory deadlines, and any DOE analysis of the corresponding financial impact to consumers for each missed deadline.
  • A current list of DOE Appliance and Equipment Standards Program rulemakings with upcoming statutory deadlines.
  • An updated schedule for all Appliance and Equipment Standards Program rulemakings listed in the most recent draft five-year plan for test procedures and energy conservation standards.
  • All communications between employees or representatives of affected companies and associations, and DOE career employees and political appointees from January 20, 2017 to present, including but not limited to officials in the DOE Office of General Counsel.  Include all electronic mail, a list of meetings (including teleconferences), providing the meeting date, each participant’s name, title, and organizational affiliation, as well as any materials used during or exchanged by external participants and DOE officials before or after the meeting.

The letter to DOE is available HERE.