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Court Rejects Appeal on California Appliance Data
Jun 20, 2006
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The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge by appliance manufacturers to California regulations that require them to put information about their products' energy performance on their appliances, according to Reuters.

Four major appliance trade groups, the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute, the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, argued that federal law pre-empted the regulations. The appliance trade groups told the Supreme Court that Congress since 1975 has adopted a series of energy laws that regulate efficiency standards, testing, information disclosure, and labeling.

The justices declined to review a ruling by a U.S. appeals court based in California that upheld the state regulations. The high court rejected the appeal by the trade groups without any comment or recorded dissent.

The U.S. Justice Department had urged the Supreme Court to reject the appeal. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the appeals court's analysis of the California regulations did not warrant further review.

The trade groups sued in 2002, challenging regulations that require manufacturers to submit to the California Energy Commission energy efficiency data on appliances sold in the state and to put basic energy information on product nameplates.

They said the regulations covered a number of products, including refrigerators, air-conditioners and space heaters. The regulations required disclosure of information such as the brand name, the model number, the appliance's size and its energy performance.

Attorneys for the groups said the appeals court ruling allows for other states to impose conflicting obligations on manufacturers. According to Reuters, lawyers for the California Energy Commission urged the Supreme Court to deny the appeal and said the appeals court correctly rejected the pre-emption argument.

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