Iowa’s Attorney General has joined 14 other states and the City of New York in a lawsuit against the federal government over energy efficiency standards for appliances. Tom Miller says the Department of Energy is six to 13 years behind in updating the efficiency standards for 22 appliances. He says that includes furnaces, hot water heaters, washers, dryers and dishwashers, which he says can become more energy efficient. Miller says improved standards have shown results in saving energy. He says by the year 2000 the U.S. was saving about two-point-five percent of energy use. He says the economic savings will be 20-billion dollars by 2010, but he says it can be more. Miller says they sent a letter to the Department of Energy in July — well before the current energy problems created by the hurricane in the south. He says, “It’s even more crucial now as we face high prices for gasoline. As we face, will face, high prices, as much as 20 to 30 percent increase for home heating oil, that the Department of Energy do its job, and put forward the simplest most efficient, painless way for us to reduce the cost of energy and to reduce the price and cost of energy use.” Miller, a democrat says the Clinton administration was slow in getting the efficiency standards updated, but did make some progress. He says the current administration has not done anything. He says, “One could I think reasonably conclude that this is a slow process. But that perhaps the sort of ideological opposition of the Bush Administration to energy efficiency has entered into this as well. In any case, it doesn’t matter what the reasons are, it has to be done.” Miller says market forces have pushed some companies to make more energy efficient appliances, but he says it’s not been done for all 22 common appliances. The lawsuit was filed in New York.
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