Democrats, eco groups take aim at other home appliances amid gas stove debate
'There's bad news for almost every room in the house,' Competitive Enterprise Institute expert tells Fox News Digital
Democrats and far-left green groups have set their sights on regulating a wide range of popular household appliances in a bid to push their broader electrification and climate agenda.
The push to regulate everyday appliances — including water heaters, furnaces, clothes washers, dishwashers, ceiling fans, microwave ovens and shower heads — comes as the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers continue to set lofty net-zero and climate goals for weaning off fossil fuel dependence. Environmentalists have argued that electrification, banning natural gas hookups and implementing strict energy efficiency standards could help accelerate emissions reductions.
“There’s bad news for almost every room in the house,” Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “Climate activists and the Biden administration want homeowners to stop using natural gas and to electrify everything. That would affect appliances that come in natural gas and electric versions such as stoves, but also heating systems and water heaters.”
“So, there are efforts underway to tilt the balance in favor of electric versions even though natural gas is considerably cheaper on a per-unit energy basis,” he continued. “It makes sense to give consumers that choice rather than force them towards electric.”
On his first day in office in January 2021, President Biden signed an executive order requiring the Department of Energy to make “major revisions” to current appliance regulation standards and standards set by the Trump administration. A month later, the agency listed more than a dozen energy efficiency rules, impacting appliances like water heaters, cooking products and lamps, that it would review.
According to the federal Unified Agenda — a government-wide, semiannual list that highlights regulations agencies plan to issue within the next 12 months — the Biden administration is moving forward with rules impacting dozens more appliances including refrigerators, boilers and air conditioners. In a recent example, the Department of Energy proposed strict standards for light bulbs, raising minimum efficiency levels.
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