Ouch. This LA Times article by Robert Lee Holtz talks about a recent GAO audit which reveals the Department of Energy has failed to meet deadlines to set efficiency standards for appliances 34 of 34 times! 24 have yet to be set at all.
This may look like a frustrating anecdote of government incompetence until one crunches the numbers. Not having just some of those standards in place can cost consumers $28 billion dollars in energy savings and result in 53 million extra tons of CO2.
Great job by Holtz using the numbers from a Lawrence Berkeley Lab study.
I can't really fault Holtz for not finding the silver lining here: its not to late to implement these simple efficiency standards which can result in a large reduction in future CO2 emissions. By itself it's not enough but nothing is. We have to do about 15 things at once and this is one of them.