NRDC v. Abraham (2004)

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States joined NRDC lawsuit challenging the DOE’s attempt to lower energy efficiency standards for certain appliances under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (ECPA).

Citation: NRDC v. Abraham, 355 F.3d 179 (2nd Cir. 2004)

Topic: Energy

Type of action: Lawsuit v. Federal Government

States involved: California, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Vermont

Summary: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and multiple states challenged the Department of Energy (DOE)’s decision to promulgate new, lower efficiency standards for certain consumer appliances. Petitioners contended that the anti-backsliding provisions of the ECPA preclude such reductions. The DOE asserted that it may determine the date when the anti-backsliding provision takes effect, and until then it may reduce any efficiency standard that has not taken effect. The court held that the DOE is under statutory mandate to not reduce efficiency standards that are already promulgated in the Federal Register. The court emphasized that the DOE would even be barred from removing these standards under the Administrative Procedures Act.

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