The nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office recently issue a blistering report on the Department of Energy’s delinquent treatment of energy efficiency standards. Despite a mandate from Congress, DOE has missed all 34 deadlines for issues standards covering everything from consumer products to power transformers. Only 11 sets of standards have been completed; 23 remain unfinished.

Guess who gets screwed by this? Hint: it’s not industry:

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that delays in setting standards for the four consumer product categories that consume the most energy–refrigerators and freezers, central air conditioners and heat pumps, water heaters, and clothes washers–will cost at least $28 billion in forgone energy savings by 2030.

This is a travesty. Energy efficiency is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to fight global warming and achieve energy security. Greens have finally begun to unite around that message, but obviously there’s a long way to go to beat it into the heads of the feds.

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(AP coverage here.)