Obama orders energy efficiency standards upgraded

From the New York Times on Thursday, February 5, 2009:

President Obama ordered the Energy Department on Thursday to immediately draft long-overdue standards to make a variety of appliances and light bulbs more energy efficient.

Over the last three decades, Congress has demanded stricter efficiency standards on 30 categories of products, as varied as residential air-conditioners and industrial boilers. But successive administrations have failed to write regulations to enforce the laws, even when ordered to by the courts.

In remarks to employees of the Energy Department, and in a presidential memorandum, Mr. Obama said he intended to comply with the laws, starting this year with nine categories of products, including ovens, vending machines, microwave ovens, dishwashers and light bulbs.

He said the new standards would cut energy use and reduce emissions of the heat-trapping gases that scientists blame for global warming.

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