In his Inaugural Speech last week, President Obama described action to limit climate change as both a moral imperative and smart economic policy. Calling for American leadership, he said, “We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries—we must claim its promise.”
Unfortunately, of late, the administration has failed to lead in one area that is firmly in the President’s hands: saving energy and cutting pollution through improved appliance and equipment energy-efficiency standards.
Over the past two years, the administration has missed deadline after deadline for completing new or updated standards for products ranging from microwave ovens to commercial refrigerators to industrial motors. These delays impose a steep cost.
In a new analysis completed this week by ASAP and ACEEE, we found that the delays to date for eight overdue standards will result in about 40 million metric tons of excess carbon dioxide emissions. Consumers and businesses will also lose—about $3.7 billion so far.
Our analysis shows that each additional month of delay means consumers and businesses will lose another $300 million in savings and another 4.4 million...