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Press Release Published: May 24, 2023

Hearing Wrap Up: Department of Energy’s Proposed Rule Regulates Gas Stoves Out of Existence, Further Strangles U.S. Consumer Choice

WASHINGTON—The Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs held a hearing titled, “Consumer Choice on the Backburner: Examining the Biden Administration’s Regulatory Assault on Americans’ Gas Stoves.” Subcommittee members discussed with witnesses how the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed rule regulating gas stoves is a de facto ban through overregulation, would disrupt and further constrict U.S. consumer choice, and is the latest attempt by the Biden Administration to ram through radical climate policies. Subcommittee members also blasted Department of Energy officials for failing to appear before the subcommittee to answer questions. At the start of the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Fallon and Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) sent a letter to a DOE official requesting her testimony at a hearing on the Biden Administration’s overregulation of home appliances in July 2023.

Key Takeaways:

The Department of Energy’s proposed rule for gas stoves would impact at least half of new gas stoves sold in the U.S. and would render most of the existing market noncompliant if the proposed rule is finalized.

  • Kenny Stein—Vice President of Policy at the Institute of Energy Research—shed light on the motivations used by the DOE in their attacks on gas stoves: “The Department of Energy’s proposed rulemaking on conservation standards gas stoves is not a sincere attempt to improve efficiency. Its rulemaking is yet another piece of this Administration’s whole-of-government approach to targeting energy sources that it disapproves of for ideological reasons. It is an attempt to stop consumers from using a product, natural gas, that is affordable, abundant and convenient.”

The Biden Administration has unleashed a tidal wave of new regulatory burdens aimed at Americans’ appliances which harm consumer choice. In addition to new standards for gas stoves, the Department of Energy has targeted dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and other household appliances.

  • Matthew Agen—Chief Regulatory Counsel at the American Gas Association—explained how the DOE’s proposed rule is one of several regulatory restrictions aimed at Americans’ appliances: “DOE’s Proposed Cooking Products Rule is not its only effort to limit access to gas appliances. DOE currently has rulemakings pending that would remove a large number of natural gas furnaces from the market and increase costs for customers, including seniors and low-income customers. This is in addition to efforts to reduce the market for various gas products such as water heaters, boilers, and various other gas products. DOE is also attempting to eliminate natural gas from new and renovated federal buildings by 2030 in contradiction of its statutory requirements and in a manner that deprives the federal government of the option to use cost-effective, high efficiency natural gas systems to provide critical building services.”

The Biden Administration is pushing a radical climate agenda while ignoring the real world impacts these policies have on the American people.

  • Ben Lieberman—Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute—touched on the Biden Administration pushing their radical green agenda through regulation: “Things have only gotten worse now that the agency is trying to use these regulations to advance climate objectives at the expense of consumers. This is particularly true of appliances that come natural gas and electric versions.”

Member Highlights:

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) fact checked claims that the proposed rule is not a ban and would have a minimal effect on U.S. consumers.

Rep. Fallon: “We just heard Mr. deLaski (minority witness) say ‘if this rule goes into effect, there will still be a wide variety of gas stoves available for consumers.’ Do you agree with that statement?”

Mr. Agen: “No, like he even said, it’s going to wipeout fifty percent of the market. Fifty percent of the market will not comply with DOE’s proposed rule. That is a substantial amount of a gas cooktops. Of the higher end cooktops, professional grade cooktops, about 96 percent would be wiped out. So a large chunk of the desirable products with features that people are looking for will be wiped out and that will go all the way down to the low-range product as well.”

Rep. Fallon: “But Mr. Agen, they said this is not a ban. My colleagues said it wasn’t a ban, the minority witness said it wasn’t a ban. So, is it a ban?”  

Mr. Agen: “Basically it is going to amount to a lot fewer choices and it would really be in effect a ban…a de facto ban.”

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) blasted the Department of Energy for failing to appear before the subcommittee to defend their proposed rule which would subject U.S. consumers to a myriad of cost increases.

Rep. Donalds: “I find it to be highly disrespectful that the Department of Energy was asked to be here, and they’re not here. They don’t want to answer questions about their own rule which is going to impact the bottom line and the pocketbook of every American. Especially those that own gas stoves currently and I find that to just be ridiculous. They must be taking cues from the President who doesn’t want to answer questions, doesn’t want to have press conferences, and is nowhere to be found. I find that to just be laughable.”

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.

Read More:

Fallon: Biden Administration Looking to Regulate Gas Stoves Out of Existence