Trump aiming to cut ‘burdensome regulations’ on energy industry

US President Donald Trump has a new policy aimed entirely at “reducing burdensome regulations on our energy industry.”

Among the first interventions his administration has made is to block the adoption of any new energy efficiency standards for energy-consuming products - presumably with the intention of helping increase fuel sales in consequence.

This ban is even affecting four new nationwide energy-saving standards, each of which had already been agreed, and each of which had been due to come into force just days after Trump became President.

The four product areas affected cover portable air-conditioners, walk-in coolers and freezers, commercial boilers, and uninterruptible power supplies.

According to analysis by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, these new regulations had been designed to save consumers billions of dollars by requiring manufacturers to make these products more energy efficient. The ASAP’s director, Andrew deLaski (right), said: “These four new standards assure any consumers of these products just a basic level of energy performance. They really should not be controversial.”

Texts for all four had been fully agreed. Because of recent rule changes issued by the Department of Energy, largely designed to prevent typing errors, no new regulations can be formally adopted until 45 days after their official publication. This extended timeline pushed the standards just past the end of the Obama administration – making them vulnerable to Trump’s new scorchedearth policies.

Meanwhile, Scott Pruitt, the climatechange denier now set to head the Environment Protection Agency, has announced his intention to revoke the ability of any individual state ever to be able to set their own product standards or regulations. Should he succeed, this would mean reversing a policy process in place since the 1970s.

For decades, progressive Democrat states like California and New York have regularly introduced tougher energy standards for a vast number of product lines. Given the size of the two states, this has frequently ensured that the marketplace in the entire region have been ratcheted up. In turn, this has led manufacturers on several occasions to argue for such higher standards being mandated nationwide. Such “states’ rights” would disappear under Pruitt’s plans.

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