Congress Battles Biden: Can You Keep Your Gas Appliances?


Clash Over Appliances: House Acts to Block Natural Gas Appliance Ban

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at safeguarding everyday home appliances that run on natural gas, setting the stage for a potential confrontation with the Biden administration and energy regulators.

“Hands Off Our Home Appliances” Bill

The “Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act,” approved by a narrow margin of 212-195, forms part of a comprehensive legislative effort targeting the Department of Energy (DOE). The bill was introduced by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) and has garnered strong support from Republicans.

The legislation mandates that the DOE meticulously consider the cost-effectiveness of any new policy standards, particularly their impact on low-income families. It also requires the department to evaluate the full-life cycle costs of appliances before issuing guidance.

Concerns over Government Overreach

Rep. Lesko expressed her dismay at the need for such a bill, citing the DOE’s “avalanche” of regulations targeting household products. She maintains that bureaucrats should not have the authority to dictate such matters in the name of environmentalism.

Conservatives have long been critical of the Biden administration’s energy policies, arguing that they have driven up energy costs and burdened consumers. They believe the DOE’s proposed restrictions on gas appliances are an unnecessary and intrusive overreach.

DOE Proposal Draws Backlash

In February 2022, the DOE proposed a significant overhaul of energy efficiency standards that could have effectively removed up to 50% of gas stoves from the market by 2027. This proposal sparked widespread backlash from conservative groups and consumers.

Facing intense resistance, the Biden administration ultimately dropped this specific provision from its final energy efficiency standards update announced in January 2023. However, the House’s passage of the “Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act” signals that Republicans are determined to prevent any future attempts to regulate gas appliances.

Political Showdown Looms

The bill’s fate now rests with the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, it would serve as a significant rebuke to the DOE and the Biden administration’s environmental agenda.

The legislation highlights the escalating tensions between the Biden administration and congressional Republicans over energy policy, with the latter seeking to roll back the former’s regulatory efforts aimed at combating climate change.