The DOE has objected to the HARDI petition to substitute as petitioner in the regional standards lawsuit. What was the association’s response, and what happens now?

Early this week, HARDI filed a response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent objection to the association’s motion to substitute as petitioner in the regional standards lawsuit. HARDI asserts that it meets all of the necessary prerequisites for substitution and that the pending settlement between the American Public Gas Association (APGA) and DOE does not address all of the association’s concerns; including the procedures that HARDI claims many businesses were denied by the DOE’s abuse of the Direct Final Rule process.

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) originally responded in opposition to HARDI’s motion to substitute as a petitioner in the APGA lawsuit, vacate the furnace standards in the Direct Final Rule, and then challenge the a/c standards in the rule.

“HARDI reaffirmed its request for substitution and vacatur, but only briefly addressed AHRI’s concerns regarding the ‘uncertainty’ that is created as a result of their action, and the damage to manufacturers if the Court should grant their motion,” said AHRI. “HARDI disputes the government’s argument that HARDI does not have the legal ability to become the Petitioner because it did not file its own petition for review of the standards, and it can only engage on issues raised by the Petitioner (APGA), which did not include the a/c standards.”

The DOE has also argued that HARDI could not replace APGA as Petitioner, because the deadline to file a petition has passed (i.e. 60 days after the publication of the Direct Final Rule). HARDI stresses that nothing in the text of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) prevents the association from substitution, and the 60-day time period is non-jurisdictional.

“This filing provides more context and precedent for HARDI to be allowed to continue to pursue the entirety of the case if the APGA/DOE settlement is accepted by the court and is reflective of the overwhelming desire of our membership to see this case through,” said Jon Melchi, director of Government Affairs, HARDI. “HARDI’s filing was the last in a series of filings related to a proposed settlement between APGA and the DOE which would remand the energy efficiency standard for residential gas furnaces - that was established in the Direct Final Rule - and force the DOE to reassess the standard.”

It is unknown when the court will rule on the proposed settlement and HARDI’s motion. Until that time the May 1, 2013 deadline in the northern region is still active. AHRI reported it is evaluating options to request a delay in the May 1, 2013, effective date of the furnace standards.

For more information about the pending settlement, contact Jon Melchi at

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