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The Biden administration is once again targeting a popular and widely used home appliance for new regulations in a move that is likely to lead to another legal battle.
According to a press release on Friday, the Department of Energy issued a rule mandating new standards for home gas furnaces to cut back on “greenhouse gas emissions,” the Daily Caller reported.
The DOE indicated that it has either proposed or completed regulations for enhancing the efficiency standards of 24 appliances as part of its efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. The newly established regulation met with opposition from the American Gas Association (AGA), which expressed concerns that it could render 40-60 percent of gas furnaces in households non-compliant.
The rule is scheduled to become effective in 2028. It mandates that residential furnaces must achieve an annual fuel efficiency rating of 95 percent.
“At the direction of Congress, DOE is continuing to review and finalize energy standards for household appliances, such as residential furnaces, to lower costs for working families by reducing energy use and slashing harmful pollutants in homes across the nation,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said, according to the press release.
“Today’s measure, along with this Administration’s past and planned energy efficiency actions, underscores President Biden’s commitment to save Americans money and deliver healthier communities,” Granholm continued.
In a June letter to DOE, the AGA said that gas furnaces are generally much cheaper to operate than electric models and are more efficient.
The department has allocated $225 million to support state and local governments in implementing building codes that promote electrification while moving away from gas-powered appliances. Additionally, in June, the Biden administration put forth a proposal that would mandate gas generators be shut down once they reach a specific emission threshold.
“They’re going to have to, in many cases, install new equipment to exhaust gas out of their home. These higher efficiency units, or so-called condensing units — a lot of consumers have them in their home, but a lot of consumers don’t. So, this rule would require additional retrofits for a lot of consumers. And those retrofits can be extremely cost prohibitive,” Richard Meyer, the vice president of energy markets, analysis and standards of AGA said.
The Daily Caller adds:
The Biden administration also announced a new proposed rule going after water heaters in July to curb greenhouse gas emissions, as well as proposing new rules in March for refrigerators and laundry machines that could impose billions of dollars of costs on consumers.
The push to crack down on appliance efficiency standards is a part of a broader push by the Biden administration to electrify all appliances in pursuit of its climate agenda.
The DOE proposed a rule in February to create new energy efficiency standards for gas stoves in the U.S. A Biden administration official previously told Bloomberg the Biden administration was considering a nationwide ban on gas stoves, citing a December 2022 study that has been disputed alleging stoves were responsible for nearly 12.7% of childhood asthma cases.
Former White House doctor and current Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) got into a heated exchange with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) over reports earlier this year that the Biden administration was looking to ban gas stoves.
US Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg News in January that gas stove usage is a “hidden hazard.”
“Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” he said, as the agency planned “to take action” to address indoor pollution that is supposedly caused by stoves.
“We need to be talking about regulating gas stoves, whether it’s drastically reducing emissions or banning gas stoves entirely,” he said, adding that a ban “is a powerful tool in our toolbox, and it’s a real possibility here, particularly because there seem to be readily available alternatives already in the market.”
Jackson posted to Twitter declaring that he would never give up his gas stove.
“I’ll NEVER give up my gas stove. If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands. COME AND TAKE IT!!” he wrote on the X platform.
That tweet prompted a response from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
“Did you know that ongoing exposure to NO2 from gas stoves is linked to reduced cognitive performance,” she said.
“If that’s the case, the FIRST place they should ban gas stoves is at the White House! Biden can’t afford to lose ANY more of his cognitive abilities – he needs all the help he can get!!” Jackson tweeted in response.