JUL 11, 2022
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - Attorney General Alan Wilson is taking action to protect consumers from new rules that do the opposite of what they intend. He and 11 other attorneys general filed a brief in a lawsuit in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals against the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The case revolves around DOE’s unlawful 2022 rulemaking called “Energy Conservation Program: Product Classes for Residential Dishwashers, Residential Clothes Washers, and Consumer Clothes Dryers.” The petitioner states are asking the court to vacate this rule because it rolls back 2020 regulations that created a new class for washing machines with shorter wash times and dishwashers with cycle times of 60 minutes or less.
“These new rules have consumers seeing their money go down the drain,” Attorney General Wilson said.
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) allows the DOE to regulate various products’ energy efficiency. The 2020 rules were put in place after consumers complained their appliances ran poorly because of the DOE’s regulations. The machines were running slowly in order to be more “energy efficient.” However, energy was not saved as consumers would often have to run their machines twice in order to attain an acceptable cleaning job. Realistically, the purported increase in efficiency was non-existent, and consumers were frustrated.
The filed opening brief argues the DOE's rule violates the EPCA, is arbitrary and capricious, fails to adequately explain the change in policy, doesn't sufficiently consider reliance interests, and does not supply enough rationale for the DOE’s refusal to create specific standards for performance classes.
Arizona and Louisiana are co-leading this lawsuit. Along with South Carolina, they are joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
You can read the brief here.
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