(WASHINGTON, DC) – The U.S. Department of Energy will publish in the Federal Register today its approval of a petition from CEI to create a new class of shorter cycle, less efficient dishwashers — marking the latest in a series of rollbacks that aim to weaken rules on light bulbs, furnaces and other appliances, Pro's Eric Wolff reports.
The moves are sure to be challenged in court by advocacy groups, which argue DOE is violating is obligations under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. But Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters it comes down to common sense, not just statute.
"From time to time a statute gets written with a really good intention but reality does not follow that intention," he said last week. "That's why we're looking at these rules and regulations from a common-sense approach, we're looking to get the best result we can."
Perry's philosophy can be seen in a series of DOE rulemakings. The agency last week also proposed a rule in response to a petition from natural gas suppliers and utilities to allow a class of less efficient natural gas furnaces. In February the agency proposed to withdraw an Obama-era rule that would ease efficiency rules on half the light bulb market.
But the moves face criticism on the Hill, where Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who chairs the E&C Energy Subcommittee, told POLITICO: "To me, there is a real divergence between his definition of common sense and my definition of common sense."