Forbes Piece: Biden’s Energy Regulatory Onslaught Shifts Into High Gear
[Note: This Story Was Also Published at Forbes.com]
With the 2024 presidential campaign starting to heat up, the various bureaucracies of the Biden administration kicked off a new regulatory onslaught targeting energy and appliances in early May, with major actions coming from three separate departments, and the promise of many more on the way.
They Aren’t Coming For Your Gas Stoves, But...
Biden officials like Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm swear they aren’t trying to ban gas stoves, yet they have already issued one proposed rule that would certainly restrict their make and use, and Democratic officials at the local and state levels are urging another agency to crack down even further.
E&E News reported in February that the new efficiency rule sought by the Department of Energy (DOE) could outlaw as much as 50% of current gas stove models on the market. Just last week, a collection of 9 Democratic state attorneys general joined with the cities of New York and Washington, DC in calling on the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSCPSC) to address “health hazards associated with gas stoves.”
This, of course, plays into the agenda of CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka, Jr., who made it clear early in the year that he plans to pursue such a regulation this year. The appearance of high demand from various states and cities with Democratic governors and mayors will likely be used by CPSC as a motivating factor whenever the regulation is proposed.
They Aren’t Coming for Your Dishwashers Either, But...
Not content to limit their new appliance standards to gas stoves, regulators at DOE issued new proposed efficiency and water use standards related to dishwashers, along with washers, dryers and refrigerators. DOE estimates the new rules will “save” consumers $652 million in utility bills in the coming decade, but it fails to estimate how much the rules will cost those same consumers in higher prices for the appliances themselves, or how much additional water use the rules will cause by rendering dishwashers and washing machines less able to clean dishes and clothes.
The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal raised this concern in a May 13 editorial, saying, “Another lament was dishwashers that make a visit to the DMV feel speedy. Machines can only meet much higher efficiency standards by recirculating water in longer cycles, meaning run times of two or three hours. Yet if the dishes aren’t clean, owners run them again, undermining the argument about conservation.”
But the regulations of these appliances are coming regardless, if for no reason other than they allow DOE to check off a box with the climate change lobby amid its increasing influence over everything this administration does.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial