New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is leading a coalition of states and municipalities in filing suit against the U.S. Department of Energy for delaying energy-saving standards for home and commercial cooling and heating products.
The legal actions — the latest salvos in Schneiderman’s ongoing battle with Trump administration policies — accuse the Department of Energy and its secretary, Rick Perry, of violating the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. Trump in a proposed budget released last month has telegraphed plans to roll back numerous energy-saving and climate-change initiatives, including Energy Star, which promotes efficient appliances and construction.
Schneiderman’s legal action — filed Friday along with attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont — takes issue with a notice filed by the Energy Department announcing a series of delays for efficiency standards for ceiling fans.
The states also filed notice over continued delays in the release of efficiency standards for walk-in coolers and freezers, portable air conditioners, power-supply equipment and commercial boilers. The legal actions seek to have the efficiency standards take effect immediately.
Schneiderman in a statement accused the Trump administration of blocking standards that would collectively eliminate 292 million tons of carbon dioxide, among other greenhouse gas pollutants, while saving 443 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
“This is yet another example of how the Trump administration’s pollute-first energy policy has real and harmful impacts on the public health, environment and pocketbooks of New Yorkers,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
A Department of Energy spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Schneiderman, who took on Trump University in a consumer fraud case that resulted in a court-approved $25 million settlement last week, also has joined lawsuits filed against Trump’s travel ban, among other actions. He’s also expected to file a formal objection to the Department of Justice’s plan to withdraw legal defense of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.