Trump-Era Rule Made Issuance of Guidance Documents—Which Promote Regulatory Transparency and Benefit Consumers—More Difficult

Groups Urged Withdrawal of the Rule in a Comment in April

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) formally withdrew a Trump-era rule that created burdensome and unnecessary requirements for issuing departmental guidance documents, which promote transparency and benefit consumers and regulated entities alike. The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) and Democracy Forward, which represented ASAP in commenting in support of DOE’s proposed withdrawal, applaud today’s action.

In April, Democracy Forward submitted a comment to DOE on behalf of ASAP supporting withdrawal of the rule. The comment highlighted how the Trump-era requirements for the issuance of guidance documents limited DOE’s ability to nimbly address evolving issues and increased the costs of issuing guidance in the first place—thus harming all stakeholders that benefit from additional regulatory guidance from DOE. ASAP explained how agencies, stakeholders, and the public benefit from the issuance of guidance documents.

In its withdrawal of the rule, DOE noted that it “agrees with [ASAP’s] comments” and believes the Trump-era requirements for issuing guidance “hinder[] DOE in having such maximum flexibility in that it could require DOE to delay issuance of final guidance documents that may be best issued quickly to inform the public of DOE actions in order to address the challenges facing the nation.”

Democracy Forward and ASAP issued the following statement in response to DOE’s withdrawal of the rule:

We applaud the Department of Energy for withdrawing the Trump administration’s rule, which would hurt both consumers and regulated industries. Properly used, guidance documents promote transparency and help DOE quickly inform the public of its actions as it responds to evolving challenges. Today’s action will enable the Department to more nimbly address evolving challenges for the public’s benefit.


Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization that represents organizations, individuals, and municipalities in impact litigation to keep corruption out of policymaking.

ASAP organizes and leads a broad-based coalition effort that works to advance, win, and defend new appliance, equipment and lighting standards that deliver large energy and water savings, monetary savings and environmental benefits.

Press Contacts:

Megan Uzzell
Democracy Forward
(202) 701-1784

Ben Somberg
(202) 658-8129