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States ready to sue Trump Administration over energy efficiency

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson
KUOW photo/Amy Radil
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Attorneys general from 11 states are taking new action against the Trump Administration over energy efficiency standards. They are working to protect an Obama-administration rule they think is in jeopardy.

New efficiency standards for coolers and fans were supposed to go into effect by now. However, the Trump Administration has put them on hold until Sept 30.

The attorneys general, led by New York, have announced they intend to sue over that delay. They'll sue if the efficiency rules aren't enforced within 60 days.

The states are practicing their own form of efficiency by taking the case together. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has sued the government before.

Ferguson: "That's an intense amount of resources from my office to take on that work. Here, we have a lot of colleagues around the country who can share their resources to take this action, so it's a big help."

Ferguson says this legal challenge is about protecting the environment from excess pollution. He also says appliances that use less energy save customers money on their utility bills. He contends customers and the environment are harmed by having to wait for more energy efficient fans, freezers, and other appliances.

If a lawsuit is filed, it would be the second by Washington State against the Trump Administration.

The Department of Energy did not respond to a request for comment.