Multiple states sue DOE over rule repealing energy efficiency standards for light bulbs


A coalition of 16 state attorneys general and the City of New York sued the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over its final rule that repeals the energy efficiency standards for certain light bulbs.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Letitia James are leading the multistate lawsuit against the DOE.

In September, the DOE released its final rule eliminating energy efficiency standards for approximately 50 percent of the six billion light bulbs used by homes and business across the country. At the time, AG Becerra slammed the department and warned that California will challenge the rule in court.

On Tuesday, the plaintiff states and New York City claimed in the lawsuit that DOE’s rule is unlawful and it will delay their adoption of energy efficiency goals. Additionally, the coalition argued that the rule will undermine state and local energy policy and it will increase consumer and environmental costs.

The DOE’s decision to implement a less stringent standard is a violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). Its action is arbitrary, capricious, and illegal under the EPCA and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), according to the coalition.California AG Becerra says DOE is pushing a “foolish agenda”

In a statement, AG Becerra said, “The Trump Administration needs to move on from old-fashioned technologies and yesterday’s way of doing business. It’s time to face the reality that American consumers deserve and demand more efficient and sustainable options.”

AG Becerra added that they filed a complaint to stop the DOE’s “foolish agenda that prioritizes out dated, polluting technology over the needs of the people and our environment.”

“An attempt to line the pockets of energy executives”

On the other hand, AG James commented, “The Trump Administration’s not-so-bright idea to rollback light bulb energy efficiency standards is an obvious attempt to line the pockets of energy executives while simultaneously increasing pollution and raising energy bills for consumers.”

“The United States cannot and will not be the exception to the international movement to phase out the inefficient, unnecessary, and costly use of incandescent bulbs. My office will continue to work with our partner states and municipalities to reverse this action, save New Yorkers money on electricity bills, and cut climate change emissions by reducing the coal and gas burned in power plants,” she added.

The attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington are part of the lawsuit against the DOE.