Well, this is awkward. On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency sent out a press release honoring the winners of the annual “Energy Star Partner of the Year Award,” given to businesses and organizations that excel in energy efficiency. In the release, which previews a gala for award winners later this month, the EPA praised the Energy Star program as “America’s resource for saving energy and protecting the environment.”
President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating the program, which sets voluntary efficiency standards for various products like electronics and buildings. If businesses choose to have their products meet those standards, they get Energy Star certified. The Environmental Defense Fund has called Energy Star “one of the most successful and noncontroversial energy-related programs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ever managed.”
The EPA seems to agree. In its press release, it said the program not only helps the environment, but saves consumers money. “In 2015 alone, Energy Star and all of its partners saved American families and businesses $34 billion on energy bills, while helping states achieve their air quality goals,” the EPA said.
Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator, should expect an angry call from the White House any minute now.
Update: EPA spokesperson Liz Bowman says in an email: “We are still working through future plans for the Energy Star program. The Annual Gala this year was planned long before the release of the President’s Blueprint for the Budget. EPA will continue to find ways to partner with stakeholders in the private sector to innovate, improve our environment, and strengthen our economy.”