States sue DOE, press for energy-saving standards for appliances

New York City and 15 states have filed suit against the U.S. Department of Energy, saying the agency has failed to update energy-saving standards for nearly two dozen household appliances — changes that would save gobs of energy. According to the suit, the DOE has violated mandates set by Congress 18 years ago to progressively strengthen energy standards for refrigerators, air conditioners, and other common appliances. The updated standards could save energy equivalent to the output of 13 to 42 large power plants over 25 years and reduce the use of oil and natural gas. “As oil and gas prices hit record levels and the impacts of global warming become more apparent, it is profoundly disappointing that the federal government has failed to adopt these crucial energy-saving standards,” said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D), who announced the suit on Wednesday.