The Biden administration’s war on devices has only just begun

The Biden administration’s war on devices has only just begun

The Biden administration triggered a slew of regulations this year targeting popular appliances as part of its climate and conservation agenda and paved the way for additional action.

In recent months, the Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled standards to make various appliances, including gas ranges, ovens, clothes washers, refrigerators, air conditioners and dishwashers, more efficient. , and experts said it would worsen product quality and lead to higher prices.

“It’s only expanding to more and more devices. It seems almost everything that plugs in or turns on in the home is subject to ongoing regulation or soon will be,” Ben Lieberman said. , senior researcher at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Fox News Digital in an interview.

“Consumers won’t like any of this. These rules are almost always bad for consumers for the simple reason that they restrict consumer choice.


Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on March 23. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“Anyone who wants to choose the greener versions of devices is always free to do so. But these rules impose that choice on everyone, whether it makes sense to them or not,” Lieberman added. “Nearly all of these appliance standards increase upfront costs. It’s unclear if you’ll ever be able to recoup that in the form of energy or water savings.”

According to the current Unified Federal Agenda, a semi-annual government-wide list that highlights regulatory agencies that plan to propose or finalize over the next 12 months, the Biden administration is moving forward with rules affecting dozens of other appliances, including consumer furnaces, pool pumps, battery chargers, ceiling fans and dehumidifiers.


As part of the DOE’s mission statement, the Unified Agenda highlights the promotion of “energy efficiency and conservation” as one of five central pillars. Broadly, Democrats and environmentalists have argued that electrification, banning natural gas hookups, and implementing strict energy efficiency standards could help accelerate emissions reductions.

President Joe Biden

President Biden speaks about the situation in Poland following a meeting with G7 and European leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 16, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

“This administration is using every tool at our disposal to save Americans money while promoting innovations that will reduce carbon pollution and combat the climate crisis,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on May 5. May after unveiling rules cracking down on dishwashers, electric motors and drinks. vending machine.

“With today’s announcements, the DOE is moving quickly to strengthen outdated energy efficiency standards — in accordance with congressional guidance and in coordination with our industry partners and stakeholders — and support healthier communities and safer for the American people.”

In December, Granholm boasted that the administration had taken 110 actions on energy efficiency standards in 2022 alone. The energy secretary added that the regulations reinforce U.S. leadership in “the race toward a clean energy future.”

Moreover, the The White House hosted an electrification summit that same month in which Granholm played a leading role. During the summit, administration officials and environmental advocates discussed ways to foster the electrification of buildings and transportation while reducing the use of fossil fuels across the economy.

White House climate czar John Podesta speaks at the electrification summit on December 14.

White House clean energy czar John Podesta speaks at the electrification summit on December 14. (White House/Video screenshot)

“We need to get these technologies into homes across America, and we need to do it as quickly as possible,” White House clean energy czar John Podesta said at the summit.


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 regulatory standards and standards set by the Trump administration. A month later, the agency listed more than a dozen energy efficiency rules affecting appliances such as water heaters, cooking products and lamps, which it would review.

“Their philosophy is energy efficiency at all costs or energy efficiency at any cost,” a former senior DOE official who served in the Trump administration previously told Fox News Digital. “That means we’re going to see, because of their efficiency standards, more expensive devices. It’s as simple as that.

“The reality is that we’re not talking about saving huge amounts of energy through these new regulations.”


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