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Light bulbs, gas stoves, refrigerators: Biden tightens appliance grip despite lackluster support

Polling suggests most Democrats, Republicans and independents stand against Biden on regulating the items.

Published: August 1, 2023 11:40pm

Updated: August 2, 2023 6:35am

President Joe Biden is facing increasing opposition for his ongoing crusade against popular household items. As of August 1, traditional incandescent light bulbs became the newest on the regulatory chopping block, effectively outlawing them nationwide. 

Under new Energy Department efficiency standards, bulbs manufactured and sold now must meet the “minimum energy-efficiency standard” of 45 lumens per watt, giving rise to LED bulbs that some researchers have suggested can cause health complications. 

Biden’s light bulb ban joins the list of growing home items the President has fixated on. Perhaps most notably, gas stoves have been a target of his administration for several months.

Specifically, the DOE-proposed energy consumption standards that, if enacted, would reportedly make half of America’s gas-powered stoves non-compliant with the rule, a move Republicans have warned would wreak havoc on financially burdened families. 

Because of this, House Republicans passed two bills aimed at blocking federal attempts to regulate gas-powered stoves, arguing that, on top of the economic implications, it would also violate consumer choice.

Other items like gas furnaces, AC units, washing machines and refrigerators have also come under DOE scrutiny, all in the name of “energy efficiency” and combating climate change. However, many don’t agree that the efforts to regulate home appliances are climate-motivated.

“I don't think it's about bringing down carbon emissions,” Tim Stewart, president of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association, told Just the News. “It's about doing away with the fossil fuel industry; they've been pretty clear about that.”

In general, and despite the ongoing "green" transition, any sort of energy regulation on appliances doesn’t seem to sit well with the American people. As reported by the Washington Examiner, a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents said in a CRC Research poll they would be “more likely” to support a candidate who would put an end to these types of crackdowns. Even 48% of liberals joined in agreement.

Moreover, Stewart said when he looks at fossil fuel polling data, he’s “very encouraged [by] the fact that the public is still with us” and “recognize[s] what we do for them.”

Stewart also said when Biden’s administration moves to regulate products, they seem to do so without consulting the people in the industry.

“[Recently], the White House held a methane summit, and they failed to invite anyone from the oil and gas industry…. This is on par for the course of illustration,” Stewart claimed. “They don't trust industry, and they certainly don't trust the oil and gas industry who's already proven we're the best reducers of co2 by using our product.”

The Biden Administration has sent mixed messages on the purported ban. Richard Trumka Jr., a CPSC commissioner was quoted in the Associated Press on January 12 as saying, “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre walked back the idea in a press conference that week, saying “The president does not support banning gas stoves [...] and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is independent, is not banning gas stoves.”

Stewart recently launched, a coalition dedicated to pushing back against the federal government's effort to restrict the appliance. As previously mentioned, dozens of lawmakers also oppose these goals. 

Regarding stoves, even cooks have made their voices heard. Andrew Gruel satirically taped himself to his gas stove “forever” and filmed it. He also called for the gas stove crackdown to be “eliminated.

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