California, New York, and Connecticut sued the Bush administration yesterday for weakening the energy-efficiency standard for central air conditioners. The states say the difference between the standard set by the Clinton administration and the one adopted by the Bush administration could eventually be more than 1 percent of peak energy demand in the U.S, and require as many as 60 new power plants to be built nationwide. In California, residential air-conditioning now accounts for 15 percent of peak energy demand. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Consumer Federation of America have also sued the feds.

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