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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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October 10, 2019


Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a win against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with a court decision affirming the DOE’s obligation to publish its finalized energy efficiency standards. This decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a previous order by the district court.

“Energy efficiency standards are common-sense steps that can significantly reduce pollution and protect our environment and our health,” Raoul said. “Today’s ruling is a win for the people of Illinois and across the country in addressing and remedying the devastating effects of unchecked climate change.”

The energy efficiency standards were approved by the Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at the DOE in December 2016. As is required by law, the standards then went through two procedural steps. First, they were subject to a 45-day period for submission of correction requests. Once this period closed, the DOE had a 30-day period to submit these rules for publication in the Federal Register, which makes the rules legally enforceable. The DOE did not complete this final step - arguing they were reconsidering the rule, which both the District court and the Ninth Circuit today found impermissible.

Attorney General Raoul joined a coalition of attorneys general successfully suing the DOE in 2017 for failing to comply with the law and publish its finalized standards in the Federal Register. The District Court agreed with Raoul and the coalition and ordered the DOE to submit the rules for publication. The DOE appealed the decision and the court’s order was halted pending a ruling by the 9th Circuit. With today’s ruling, the court affirms the DOE’s obligation to publish the standards in the Federal Register.

Over a 30-year period, these energy efficiency standards will save consumers an estimated $8.4 billion and are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98.8 million tons. That is comparable to taking more than 21 million cars off the road for one year. In the lawsuit, Raoul and the coalition confirmed their significant interests in increased energy efficiency and reduced energy use in order to protect their populations and environments.

Joining Raoul in the lawsuit were the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the California Energy Commission and the City of New York.


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