Department of Energy officials asked by Republicans to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday about the administration’s proposed gas-stove regulations are refusing to appear, a GOP aide for the panel tells The Washington Times.
Two officials with the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy told the committee’s Republican majority they will not attend because the administration’s proposed rules for new natural gas stoves have not been finalized, the aide says.
Those officials are Alejandro Moreno, acting assistant secretary of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the deputy assistant, Carolyn Snyder.
The Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republicans say the hearing slated for Wednesday morning will examine “the Biden administration’s regulatory assault on Americans’ gas stoves.”
The Biden team at Energy is considering enacting efficiency standards for new gas stoves that would make at least half of currently available models out of compliance. The move is designed to combat climate change and health concerns over the methane-emitting appliances, officials say.
The proposed rules have further fueled the political firestorm around the stoves found in roughly 40% of U.S. households, with blue cities and states also looking to slash the use of natural gas and go electric.
In addition to drawing the ire of trade associations, energy analysts, Republicans and everyday Americans, at least one Democrat in Congress is also vehemently opposed: Senate Energy Committee Chairman Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.
In response to the potential regulations, Mr. Manchin tanked President Biden’s nominee to replace Mr. Moreno as the assistant secretary of Energy’s efficiency office: Jeff Marootian, an advisor to DOE Sec. Jennifer Granholm.
Ms. Granholm defended the proposed stove rules before the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month, saying she was simply following the law that periodically requires a reexamination of appliance regulations.
“The Department of Energy is not banning any gas stoves, we are doing our duty to make sure that appliances are more energy efficient as we are required to do under the Energy Policy Conservation Act of 1975,” she told lawmakers.
“Nobody’s taking my gas stove, nobody will take your gas stove. But in the future, gas stoves that are high-end — which is all that we looked at — can be more efficient,” she said.