CoA Holds Dept. of Energy Accountable for Ignoring Procedure

Cause of Action, on behalf of Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) filed a petition to intervene in a lawsuit against the Department of Energy for refusing to follow protocol and breaking procedure. The Department of Energy issued a rule that will drive up costs for distributors, installers, and consumers of heating and air conditioning products across the United States.  Refusing to acknowledge properly filed comments and concerns from HARDI, the Department of Energy issued new energy efficiency standards set to go into effect May 2013.  Cause of Action took up HARDI’s case in the U.S. Court of Appeals to hold the Department of Energy accountable for ignoring procedure and inflicting job-killing regulation on the heating and air industry.

See the filed petition here and the full press release here.

(Image source: Flickr user OversightandReform)

 

CoA Files Petition on Behalf of HARDI Against the Department of Energy

Cause of Action Files Petition on Behalf of HARDI Against Department of Energy

DOE Oversteps Its Rule-making Bounds Causing Financial Consequences for Heating and Air Businesses and Customers

WASHINGTON – Cause of Action filed a petition on January 20 in the U.S. Court of Appeals on behalf of the Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) abuse of the regulatory process and overreach of authority which resulted in a rogue decision to impose unreasonable energy efficiency standards on distributors, installers, and users of residential heating and cooling products in the United States.

Acting outside of its purview, the DOE not only ignored concerns from HARDI about these rule changes, but sidestepped the proper established rule-making procedures, instead choosing to dictate a rule without regard for its serious financial consequences.

Cause of Action, a non-partisan organization dedicated to attacking waste, fraud, mismanagement and corruption in the federal government, took on this issue on behalf of HARDI out of recognition of the abuse of power being demonstrated by the DOE, and the potential precedent this could set for federal agencies.

“The Department of Energy is turning a deaf ear toward American businesses and choosing to enact rules with no regard for proper procedure,” said Dan Epstein, Executive Director of Cause of Action. “Cause of Action chose to intervene on behalf of HARDI and the thousands of Americans they represent against this act of government abuse of power.  We urge the Court of Appeals to examine the unprecedented harm the Department of Energy is enacting on businesses and consumers around the country, and ask them to rein in this agency.”

For HARDI, their actions and opposition to the DOE on this issue have been evident since 2008, yet the DOE consistently ignored them.

“For years HARDI members have been discussing regional standards, then the consensus agreement, and now the potential impact of the Department of Energy’s direct final rule on our industry,” said HARDI President, Bud Mingledorff.  “Over the last several weeks alone, four individual votes were cast among varying levels of HARDI’s membership leaders, each of whom unanimously determined joining this litigation was the right thing to do.”

HARDI joins the American Public Gas Association (APGA) who has previously filed a petition on the matter with the Court of Appeals.

For more information or to speak with Jon Melchi, Director of Government Affairs of HARDI, or Dan Epstein, Executive Director of Cause of Action, contact Mary Beth Hutchins, 202-587-5880, mary.beth.hutchins@causeofaction.org.

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 is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that uses public advocacy and legal reform tools to ensure greater transparency in government, protect taxpayer interests and promote economic freedom. For more information, visit www.causeofaction.org.

 

To see the motion to intervene filed by Cause of Action, click here.

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VIDEO: CoA’s Amber Taylor on ANDERSON Discussing FDA’s Over Regulation of Trent Arsenault

Amber Taylor with Cause of Action visits Anderson Cooper’s daytime show to explain how the FDA is over regulating Trent Arsenault, a private citizen sperm donor who has been told to “cease manufacture” of his sperm.

 

MSNBC.com: FDA Cracks Down on DIY Sperm Donor

Read the full story here. NBC News

“The Food and Drug administration is working to put an end to a California’ man’s free sperm donation operation. Trent Arsenault, who has provided more than 350 donations and fathered 14 children through them, tells KNTV’s Traci Grant he’s just “helping people in need.”

. . .

Last year, federal Food and Drug Administration officials delivered a letter ordering Arsenault to “cease manufacturing,” or halt his service, because the computer security expert had not followed regulations governing safety precautions for transmission of human cells or tissues through donor clinics.“We have legitimate concerns,” said Shelly Burgess, a spokeswoman for the FDA.But Arsenault was allowed to continue the operation while the agency decided whether to grant him a hearing on the matter, according to his lawyers.The lawyers, who work for the nonprofit legal firm Cause of Action in Washington, D.C., argue that Arsenault shouldn’t be held to clinic sperm donor standards because his contracts with recipients are individual intimate partner arrangements allowed under the law.”

 


 

CoA Asks National Archives to Release FCIC Records

Potential Conflicts of Interest Abound Between FCIC Staff and Outside Entities Involved in Suing Banks Targeted by FCIC

Cause of Action sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the National Archives seeking the release of records it maintains from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the body tasked with investigating the causes of the 2008 financial crisis.  Prior to the release of the Commisssion’s report, U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) raised questions concerning the potential conflicts of interest that existed between Commission staff and several outside entities involved in suing banks targeted by FCIC.  Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) recently released a report finding that several of the decisions of the FCIC may have been politically motivated.

Read CoA’s request here.

CoA Requests National Labor Relations Board OIG to Investigate

Learn More

Did You Know You Paid To Lobby For More Taxes?

Cause of Action Investigates

Cause of Action has discovered that Stimulus grants have been improperly used to lobby for soda taxes and smoke-free ordinances. The grant program, titled Communities Putting Prevention to Work, is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designed to help state and local governments educate citizens on preventing obesity and excessive tobacco use. However, documents reveal that these grants have been used to persuade state and local representatives to vote in favor of soda taxes and anti-smoking laws.

Use of discretionary grants for lobbying is prohibited by federal law. Because of the gravity of the abuse, Freedom Through Justice has requested, in writing, that the offices of the Inspector General of Health and Human Services and the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board open a full investigation into which grantees have used stimulus funds to engage in improper lobbying.

Regarding these violations, Executive Director Dan Epstein stated, “We hope that their offices will treat this revelation with the seriousness it deserves. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was intended to boost jobs and get the economy working again, not fill the pockets of well-connected lobbyists in the name of nanny-state politics.”

Cause of Action will continue to investigate how and when federal funds were used to lobby for taxes most Americans oppose.