Court Hands DOE Procedural Victory in Potentially Costly Manufactured Housing Energy Standards Case


The court in the Sierra Club V. Perry case has handed DOE [Department of Energy] a procedural victory, for the moment, in the case brought by the Sierra Club, trying to force the Department to act on the MH energy rule,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.


After the Sierra Club filed its suit, DOE filed a motion contesting its standing to bring suit in this matter on behalf of its members,” stated Weiss, who is an attorney.

Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

In comments about the ruling last week requested by the Daily Business News on MHProNews, Weiss also said that the “Sierra Club responded by filing an amended complaint (which it has a right to do), and filing a motion for partial summary judgment, essentially trying to leapfrog the standing issue and get an order stating that DOE violated the EISA [Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007] mandate to establish an MH energy standard within five years of passage.”

DOE then filed a motion to hold Sierra Club’s motion for partial summary judgment in abeyance, while the standing issue is addressed by the court,” Weiss’ play by play explained.

The court, last Thursday [8.16.2018], granted that DOE motion to hold consideration of Sierra Club’s motion for partial summary judgment in abeyance, as shown by the docket note below.  In the note, “plaintiff” refers to the Sierra Club, “defendant” refers to DOE.  This is positive news for the moment, but does not guarantee anything regarding the final outcome,” per Weiss.

It’s a positive step for the industry, which has had this potentially costly rule hanging overhead for years.

MHARR fought the DOE rule from the outset, but for years, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) inexplicably supported standards third party research said could have added some $6,000 to a single section manufactured home.

After years of pushback by MHARR, the Small Business Administration, MHProNews, and other advocates for the industry, MHI finally flip-flopped on the issue last year.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

The Trump Administration’s administrative executive orders put a stop to the matter, until the Sierra Club suit has revived the matter.



In the District of Columbia District Court, Judge Emmet G Sullivan ruled as follows, per the Pacer Monitor.

“MINUTE ORDER granting27 defendant’s motion to hold in abeyance23 plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Court has broad authority to control the disposition of the cases on its docket. See Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936). The Court cannot agree with plaintiff that allowing the parties to brief summary judgment maximizes efficiency, especially because the Court must first assure itself of jurisdiction. See, e.g., Furniture Brands Int’l Inc. v. U.S. Int’l Trade Comm’n, No. 11-202, 2011 WL 10959877, at *1 (D.D.C. Apr. 8, 2011) (“[St]aying further briefing of the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion will allow the parties to avoid the unnecessary expense, the undue burden, and the expenditure of time to brief a motion that the Court may not decide.”). Therefore, the Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE23 plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment. Plaintiff may refile its motion for summary judgment, assuming the Court denies the defendant’s pending motion to dismiss. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 8/16/2018. (lcegs3)” ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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