Obama Criticized for Leadership on Energy Efficient Equipment

Analysis by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) finds that the delays for eight overdue standards related to appliances will result in about 40 million metric tons of excess carbon dioxide emissions and has cost consumers and businesses about $3.7 billion, so far.

“Over the past two years, the administration has missed deadline after deadline for completing new or updated standards for products ranging from microwave ovens to commercial refrigerators to industrial motors,” writes Andrew deLaski, executive director of ASAP in a blog posting at ACEEE.

Because each month of delay also delays the effective date of any new standard, millions of additional inefficient products will be sold and remain in use, wasting energy for many years.

The Department of Energy is the agency responsible for completing new efficiency standards. Once DOE completes a notice of proposed rule (NOPR) or a final rule containing a new standard, it must be approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

ASAP and ACEEE say during the first two years of the Obama administration, DOE and OMB worked well to complete new standards on time. But over the past two years, OMB’s reviews have become lengthy – as long as 16 months in one case – and DOE has fallen behind.

In January, the DOE said it was seeking public comment on the energy conservation standards for certain commercial air-conditioning and heating equipment.

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