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Amicus Brief in Case Challenging the Economic Justifications for Energy Conservation Standards

In 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued new energy conservation standards for consumer water heaters and consumer furnaces. In April 2024, a natural gas trade association challenged the standards in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, arguing that the standards are not economically justified. In response, Policy Integrity filed an amicus brief supporting DOE’s economic analyses and explaining how Petitioners’ and certain amici’s arguments overlook DOE’s sound assumptions and the relevant statutory framework.

Specifically, we argued that:

  • Petitioners barely acknowledge the market failures supporting DOE’s modeling of baseline appliance efficiency (i.e., the “base case”), but those market failures are well documented.
  • Petitioners’ argument that DOE cannot consider any benefits or costs resulting from consumers’ fuel switching conflicts with statutory text and DOE’s prior practice.
  • The contention from the States of Tennessee et al. that DOE arbitrarily valued climate benefits in its economic analysis is irrelevant and unpersuasive because DOE relied on widely-used and well-supported valuations of climate impacts.