Attorney General Rosenblum Leads Coalition Opposing Proposed Weakening of Energy Efficiency Standards

October 14, 2020
• Posted in

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum drafted and filed comments late Tuesday opposing the U.S. Department of Energy’s proposal to completely exempt fast-cycle clothes washers and dryers from any energy efficiency standards. Fast-cycle products include top-loading washers with a wash cycle of less than 30 minutes, front-loading washers of less than 45 minutes, and dryers of less than 30 minutes.

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act makes it clear that the Department of Energy is not allowed to weaken energy efficiency standards, let alone carve out complete exemptions to those standards.  In this case, DOE claims the authority, not only to exempt both washers and dryers from DOE’s own standards, but to exempt certain washers from minimum standards set by Congress itself. 

AG Rosenblum noted that DOE also unlawfully claimed that the rule change is exempt from the National Environmental Policy Act, based on its assertion that granting exemptions from energy efficiency standards will have no environmental impact. “Allowing increased energy use means more greenhouse gas emissions,” Rosenblum said. “Claiming that this action has no environmental impact is an example of climate denialism.”

Attorney General Rosenblum is joined in the comments by the Attorneys General of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the City of New York.

Read the filing.  

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm.