Massachusetts sues U.S. over HVAC standards

By team, May 11, 2007, 00:00 1 minute reading

The state's Attorney General Martha Coakley has filed a federal lawsuit aimed at forcing the U.S. Department of Energy to adopt higher energy efficiency standards for new commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Massachusetts argues that HVAC products used in schools, offices and hotels account for a significant share of energy use, and that higher efficiency standards for those systems would save the equivalent of just under 1% of total U.S. electric consumption until 2034. Tightening the standards alone for air conditioning products could save up to 2.913 quadrillion BTUs (a basic unit of thermal heating energy) over a 27-year period, thereby eliminating the need for several major power plants.

The case filed on 7 May in the United States Court of Appeals now seeks to force the US government to proceed with the enforcement of higher standards that would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2006, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed strengthening the standard for certain heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, but in March 2007 it refused to do so, claiming that it lacked the authority to move forward with its original proposal.

The new trial comes one month after the U.S. Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration in a different Massachusetts case for its inaction on global warming. Position "We intend to continue to press the federal government to live up to its statutory responsibilities to address excess emissions of greenhouse gases. If the federal government focused on problem solving rather than trying to avoid doing its job, we would be much closer to solving many of our environmental problems," Massachussets Attorney General Coakley said in a statement.


By team (@r744)

May 11, 2007, 00:00

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