Biden Administration Rules Will Ban the Sale of Most Air Conditioners and Stoves

The Biden administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) has finalized energy efficiency standards for air conditioning units, window units, portable air purifiers, and—despite what Biden officials said earlier this year—gas stoves. The stricter energy use rules add-on to earlier energy and water use restrictions the administration imposed on new washing machines and refrigerators.

The impetus for the rules is to advance “decarbonization,” which means passing regulations that push consumers toward all-electric appliances, said  Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, in announcing the rules.

‘Back door … Ban’

The stricter efficiency standards amount to a ban on some appliances, said U.S. Rep.  Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), who introduced a bill to stop DOE’s new gas stove rule, in a press release. Because only about 4 percent of currently available gas stoves actually meet the DOE’s new “max-tech” requirements, 96 percent of stoves will be effectively banned, according to Lesko’s press release.

“This rule is a back door attempt to ban gas stoves and expand the federal government’s influence over Americans’ daily lives,” said Lesko. “I am proud to lead my colleagues in urging Secretary Granholm not to finalize this proposed rule that bans nearly all gas stoves and eliminates consumer choice.”

In a letter to DOE Secretary Granholm, co-signed by a coalition of other Congress members, Lesko laid out why the standards are unrealistic and harm consumers.

“For gas cooking tops, the [supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking] proposes a maximum efficiency level of 1,204 kBtu/yr, which, based on DOE’s own analysis, represents only 4 percent of market share today and excludes all conventional free stand ranges,” the letter says.

‘Extreme Regulation’

The letter urging Granholm to reconsider the new standards states that they are unprecedented in the history of the efficiency standards for appliances.

“Setting a requirement at max-tech, which has not been done for home appliances ever, and that causes 96 percent of the productions available today to be eliminated from the market is an extreme regulation,”states the congressional letter.

The savings, which add up to a mere $1.50 per year, do not justify the elimination of 96 percent of products available, according to the letter.

“These are not savings American consumers will be willing to trade for decreased features and functionality,” the letter states.

Congress Fights Back

The Lowering Energy Costs Act, which includes a provision barring the DOE from implementing the gas stove regulations, recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

If the bill passes the Senate it will reduce the burden on American households and expand consumer choice, said Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) in a statement. Palmer wrote the resolution to  block the DOE’s new gas stove efficiency restrictions.

“This is a vote to provide solutions to high energy costs and to end Biden’s energy crisis,” said Palmer. “H.R. 1 will reduce home energy costs for American families and enhances our national security.”

Fossil Fuels Remain Necessary

The idea that we can move away from fossil fuels for energy is a false comfort for climate activists, says Ronald Stein, co-author of the Pulitzer-Prize-nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations,” and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.

“We have two immovable forces in play: ridding the world of fossil fuels; and electrification, at any cost, to reduce emissions,” Stein said. “To add insult to injury, those so-called renewables of wind and solar are 100 percent made from the products manufactured from fossil fuels.

“Renewables can only generate occasional electricity, but cannot manufacture anything for humanity, while fossil fuels manufacture everything for humanity,” Stein said. “The future outlook is shortages and inflation in perpetuity, as all the parts and components for wind, solar, nuclear, and everything else that needs electricity, are made with the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil; thus, ridding the world of oil will eliminate wind, solar, and nuclear!”

‘Insufficient Economic Incentives’

Transitioning households to all-electric appliances and heating is not going to stop fossil fuel use, Stein says, but the forced transition to electrification may cause chaos, since refineries will close and they are needed to produce oil-derivatives—the lubricants, plastics, and other chemicals used to keep renewable power sources wired and functioning.

“There are insufficient economic incentives to manufacture the needed derivatives to meet the surge in renewable electricity generation,” Stein said. “From my 20 years in the petrochemical industry, private corporations, the oil industry, will not invest  just to manufacture oil derivatives, and electrification requires those derivatives.”