U.S. Department of Energy Being Sued by Environmental Group

A lawsuit is being brought against the U.S. Department of Energy alleging that they failed to properly strengthen the existing energy efficiency standards for commercial heating and cooling equipment that the complainant alleges are weak and outdated.
The suit is being brought by Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest law firm whose stated mission is to protect the world’s natural resources and wildlife, on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council as well as the state of Massachusetts.

The suit alleges that the DOE’S standards allow these mentioned products to waste energy as well as money and that they also make thousands of tons of air pollution, including greenhouse gasses that are contributing to global warming.

They further state that the standards that the DOE adopted on March 7 of this year are much weaker than the standards that were recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, a group that has officially been recognized as an authority on energy efficiency by Congress.

Furthermore, the standards that they accepted back in March are completely opposite to what they said they were going to do in a proposal that they themselves created in 2006 that stated that they intended to adopt the stricter guidelines that the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers had recommended. The DOE states that their reversal of their decision is justified under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The plaintiffs, however disagree, saying that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act is intended to promote more conservation and not to support a decision that would result in less conservation.

Earthjustice states that improvement in energy efficiency are necessary for numerous reasons, one of them being the fact that it can reduce the need for power that is produced by using coal. With 100 coal powered plants in the works across the US, they have the fear that they will lead to unnecessary pollution being dumped into the atmosphere.

Looking at the situation from purely a monetary standpoint, they put forth the fact that using the stricter standards would, in the long run, improve the bottom line for both business and schools due to the fact that they would see a tremendous reduction in the amount they would have to lay out for utility bills.

They refer to the fact that there would be less pollution as well as monetary savings as being a win win situation that the DOE has chosen to turn its back on.