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The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), joined by the Consumer Technology Association and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, has filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to intervene on the side of the Department of Energy (DOE) in a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council against a rule issued earlier this year governing the Department's rulemaking procedures.
"The Procedures for Use in New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Consumer Products and Commercial/Industrial Equipment rule, more commonly known as the Process Rule," outlines rules that DOE must follow when it develops new or updated energy conservation standards. AHRI has been consistent in its support for an updated Process Rule, as the current version was created in 1996 as non-binding guidance, which resulted in its being inconsistently followed by DOE.
"The procedures outlined in the Process Rule will bring much-needed modernization to the DOE rulemaking process, including making them binding on the Department, which is why manufacturers feel strongly enough to intervene in this lawsuit," said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek.
"We would have preferred for the plaintiffs to dedicate their efforts to working with DOE and industry to use the improved Process Rule to develop energy-saving regulations. We are disappointed by their choice to litigate, and we are intervening to represent our members' interests and to support what is ultimately a deliberative and thoughtful rule," said Caroline Davidson-Hood, AHRI general counsel.