FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                 CONTACT:        Mary Beth Hutchins, 202-400-2721

FEBRUARY 1, 2013

Jamie Morris, 202-499-2425

Cause of Action Challenges DOE’s Proposed Settlement in Energy Efficiency Standards Case

HARDI moves to substitute in the case that would affect numerous American businesses

WASHINGTON – Cause of Action (CoA), a government accountability organization, recently  filed a Motion to Substitute as Petitioner on behalf of the Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), following the Department of Energy’s proposed settlement with the American Public Gas Association (APGA)  of a court challenge to the agency’s rogue move to impose unreasonable energy efficiency standards on distributors, installers, and users of residential heating and cooling products in the United States.

On May 29, 2012, CoA filed a brief on behalf of HARDI in a lawsuit against the DOE following the agency’s unprecedented move to issue new energy efficiency standards without heeding input from industry members and others in the public. Agency practice typically dictates that even if one adverse public comment is received, the agency will withdraw a proposed direct final rule and use the notice-and-comment process. The DOE ignored more than 30 adverse comments concerning the direct final rule at issue here.

“The proposed settlement between the APGA and the DOE leaves two-thirds of the energy-conservation standards at issue in the lawsuit intact,” said Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action. “If HARDI is not granted permission to substitute as a Petitioner in this case HARDI and other small business members will be denied the opportunity to fight DOE’s abuse of its limited direct final rulemaking authority.”

“HARDI does not believe that the APGA/DOE settlement addresses all of our concerns, therefore we are asking the Court to allow us to substitute in for APGA and continue our concerns as they relate to abuses of the Direct Final Rule Process and central air conditioners,” Jon Melchi, Director of Government Affairs at HARDI, said in a press release from the organization.

The proposed settlement is limited to standards for non-weatherized gas furnaces and fails to address or resolve HARDI’s remaining claims.

Continued Epstein, “Only judicial review can effectively curb DOE’s abuse of the direct final rulemaking process.”

About HARDI:

Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) represents more than 460 wholesale companies and 300 manufacturing associates as well as nearly 125 manufacturer representatives. HARDI members represent an estimated 85 percent of the dollar value of the HVACR products sold through distribution.


About Cause of Action:

Cause of Action a nonprofit, nonpartisan government accountability organization that investigates, exposes, and fights job-killing federal government regulations, waste, fraud, and cronyism.  Cause of Action, uses investigative, legal, and communications tools to educate the public on how transparency and accountability protects taxpayer interests and economic opportunity. For more information, visit


For more information or to speak with Dan Epstein, Executive Director of Cause of Action, contactMary Beth Hutchins, or Jamie Morris,, 202-499-4232