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Environment & Energy
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Judge Says Department Of Energy Must Enact Efficiency Standards For Some Appliances

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Elaine Thompson
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AP Photo
In this Aug. 1, 2017 file photo, fans and air conditioners are seen for sale at a hardware store in Seattle. A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered the Trump administration to implement energy-use limits for portable air conditioners.

Attorneys General from 11 states, including Pennsylvania, have won a federal court case against the U.S. Department of Energy. 

The Department must move forward on enacting energy efficiency standards for some appliances such as walk-in freezers and air compressors.

The Attorneys General argued that the Trump administration was putting polluters over people by not instituting the standards that were finalized by the Obama administration in December 2016.

Rob Altenburg of PennFuture says sometimes standards are delayed because of pushback from whatever industry is being regulated.

"And this looks like it was a delay not because the industry was particularly asking for it, but because it was just seen as an action of the prior administration that they wanted to delay," Altenburg said.

According to the state Attorney General's office, these standards would not only reduce greenhouse gas emission, but would also save consumers more than $8 billion over the next 30 years. The lawsuit was introduced last June, with the argument that the Trump administration was in violation of federal environmental laws.

"Without standards you have the potential that the U.S. will become a dumping ground for substandard products," Altenburg said.