For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns Director, mcasale@pirg.org, 617-747-4314
Mike Landis, Litigation Director, mlandis@publicinterestnetwork.org, 201-850-2360
Mark Morgenstein, Director of Media Relations, markm@publicinterestnetwork.org, 678-427-1671

U.S. Pirg, Environment America, and Other Advocacy Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over New Process to Determine the Stringency of Energy Efficiency Standards

WASHINGTON - U.S. PIRG, Environment America, and other advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Friday to protect energy efficiency standards. The suit challenges the Department of Energy’s new rule that changes the process by which it determines the stringency of energy efficiency standards. The lawsuit follows one filed earlier this year dealing with similar issues. 

“For the past 30 years, a common-sense process to set efficiency standards has saved consumers money and protected the environment. There’s no good reason to change that system now,” said Matt Casale, director of U.S. PIRG’s environment campaigns. “We’re going to court to save a practical rule that protects both our planet and our pocketbooks.”

Historically, the DOE has tried to balance energy efficiency mandates with how much it would cost product manufacturers and consumers to achieve those standards. The government continuously weighs that trade-off, starting by trying to maximize energy savings, then progressively “walks down” to a less stringent standard (and potentially lower levels after that) until it determines it can economically justify the chosen standard.

The DOE’s new rule would overhaul this system and establish a new process in which it simultaneously compares the benefits and burdens of multiple possible standards to determine whether a particular standard is economically justified. This would both make it easier for the current administration to justify lower energy efficiency standards and make it more difficult for future administration to defend higher ones.

The lawsuit was filed with NRDC and the Sierra Club (represented by Earthjustice) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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