"Why Is the White House Sitting on Efficiency Standards?"

"Although both Obama and DOE Secretary Steven Chu have said overhauling federal appliance efficiency standards and building codes is a critical priority, over the last year, progress has ground nearly to a halt."

"The administration requires DOE’s draft standards to be approved by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before being released. And right now, new efficiency standards for residential clothes washers, battery chargers, power supplies, walk-in coolers, and freezers, and new energy efficiency and sustainable design requirements for federal buildings, are collecting dust at OMB while energy is being wasted.

No reason has been given for why the White House is standing in the way of these rules. But these are the facts: Each of these standards has now been stuck at the White House for four to seven months. In Obama’s first two years in office, OMB was able to complete its reviews of all draft appliance standards in six weeks or less. The delay is most egregious for the clothes washer standards that have been languishing at OMB for more than four months. Those standards were jointly negotiated and agreed upon by environmental groups, consumer advocates, manufacturers, and major utilities."

David Baron reports for Grist February 12, 2012.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012