Environmental -- 2016

Lennox Int'l, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of Energy   (5th Circuit)

Challenging Dept. of Energy efficiency standards for walk-in coolers and freezers

The Fifth Circuit granted the NAM and the Chamber of Commerce an opportunity to file an amicus brief in this case, challenging a new energy-efficiency standard from the Department of Energy for walk-in coolers and freezers. We filed a brief on April 17 focusing on the department's use of a calculation of the "social cost of carbon" when aggregating purported benefits of the rules. The Department estimated the present monetary value of the hoped-for reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide from these coolers at up to $16.3 billion, based on a 3% assumed discount rate. This rate is lower than the rate prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget (7%), and produces substantially higher purported benefits. This decision was not subject to peer review, making it harder to ensure the quality and accuracy of the data.

Moreover, the social cost of carbon estimates were developed by an ad hoc Interagency Working Group operating behind close doors and outside the purview of notice-and-comment rulemaking or other meaningful public scrutiny. This process violates well established requirements that critical information be developed through a transparent process.

The case was settled and dismissed in 2016.

Related Documents:
NAM amicus brief  (April 17, 2015)


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