Attorney General Bonta: To Fight Climate Change and Protect the Planet, Department of Energy Must Strengthen Nation’s Energy Efficiency Program

Monday, October 18, 2021
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SAN DIEGO ­– California Attorney General Rob Bonta today highlighted a series of recent comment letters urging the Department of Energy (DOE) to strengthen the nation’s energy efficiency program. DOE's longstanding energy efficiency program has resulted in substantial economic and environmental benefits, with more than $2 trillion in projected consumer savings and 2.6 billion tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. During the Trump Administration, the Attorney General’s Office defended DOE’s energy efficiency program from an onslaught of attacks, filing lawsuits challenging its rescission of the general service lamp definition, creation of new, unnecessary classes of dishwashers and clothes washers and dryers, withdrawal of proposed standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters, and Process Rule revisions. In today's comments, and in previous ones, Attorney General Bonta urges DOE to rescind these Trump-era rules and strengthen the energy efficiency program. 

“Our nation's energy efficiency program is a critical component of any plan to combat climate change and protect our planet,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Energy efficiency standards are a win-win, saving consumers and small businesses money on their electricity bills, while also helping save the planet. I support the Department of Energy's efforts to reverse Trump-era regulations that undermined this program. There's no time left to waste. We must get this program back on track.”

General Service Lamps: Attorney General Bonta joined a multistate coalition today in support of DOE’s proposal to strengthen energy efficiency requirements for certain lightbulbs. If adopted, the proposal could save billions of dollars in energy costs and avoid millions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. The Attorney General’s Office joined a multistate coalition in challenging a Trump-era attempt to roll back energy efficiency requirements for these lightbulbs in 2019. In today's comments, the coalition argues that strengthening these requirements is long overdue.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Washers, Dryers, and Dishwashers: Attorney General Bonta led a coalition of 17 attorneys general and the City of New York in urging DOE to rescind its final rules creating new, unnecessary classes of dishwashers and clothes washers and dryers based on cycle time. The Attorney General's Office led litigation challenging these rules as a violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act earlier this year. In their recent comments, the coalition argues that these Trump-era rules have weakened the energy efficiency program and opened the possibility of similar proposals in the future that could further undermine the program.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Process Rule: Attorney General Bonta led a multistate coalition in urging DOE to undo the full suite of Trump-era revisions to DOE’s Process Rule, which created a number of roadblocks to the adoption of new energy efficiency standards and the review of existing standards. In the letter, the coalition argues that rescinding these revisions would make the Process Rule more consistent with the Energy Policy Conservation Act and support a more effective energy efficiency program. The Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit challenging the revisions to the Process Rule in April 2020.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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