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11 states sue Trump administration over energy-efficiency regulations

[JURIST] The attorneys general of 11 states filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday against the Trump administration for failing to finalize energy efficiency standards for portable air-conditioners, freezers and other products. The lawsuit concerns [WP report] five final rules that the Obama administration issued shortly before he left office. The new requirements [AP report] would potentially save consumers billions of dollars, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve a significant amount of energy. The finalized standards were subjected to a 45-day review period to ensure there were no typographical errors or inconsistencies. The US Department of Energy (DOE) [official website] has failed to publish within the public-review period rendering the new standards unenforceable under law. The Natural Resources Defense Council and Earthjustice [advocacy websites] filed a separate suit [complaint, PDF] also seeking to compel the DOE to publish the efficiency standards.

A priority of the Trump administration has been to roll back regulations and alter the country's energy and environmental policies, which the current administration claims have hurt jobs and the growth of the economy. In March the Trump administration asked [JURIST report] the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to postpone ruling on the Obama administration's climate change regulations. This request came after President Donald Trump signed [JURIST report] an executive order rolling back the Obama administration policies. The Clean Power Plan [text, PDF] was challenged during Obama's presidency by certain states and industry groups that rely on the coal industry. In February Trump signed legislation [JURIST report] that rolled back coal mining regulations implemented by the Obama administration. Also that week the president signed a repeal of regulations [JURIST report] that required energy companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments. Shortly after his inauguration, Trump signed orders advancing the construction [JURIST report] of both the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline.

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