Manchin torpedoes vote on Biden Energy nominee over crackdown on gas stoves

Daily Caller News Foundation

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia canceled a planned vote Wednesday to advance the nomination of a Department of Energy (DOE) official, over the office’s efforts to regulate gas stoves, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Manchin — in his capacity as the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee — blocked the vote to advance the nomination of Jeff Marootian, currently a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, to become the assistant secretary of the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bloomberg reported. The office is responsible for a recent DOE proposal that would impose stricter emissions and energy efficiency standards on gas stoves.

“While I supported Mr. Marootian’s nomination in December, since then the office he’s been nominated to lead has proposed stove efficiency rules that I’ve raised concerns about,” Manchin said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “While I appreciate that these rules would only apply to new stoves, my view is that it’s part of a broader, Administration-wide effort to eliminate fossil fuels. For that reason, I’m not comfortable moving forward with Mr. Marootian at this time.”

Manchin has heavily criticized the Biden administration in recent months over its implementation of the president’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a bill that Manchin supported in exchange for the passage of permitting reform measures. Manchin has taken particular issue with the Biden administration’s willingness to extend IRA tax credits to foreign companies, and unwillingness to support the fossil-fuel industry.

Despite White House backing, Manchin’s permitting reforms were stymied by bipartisan opposition in Congress, although the West Virginia senator recently reintroduced the legislation in May amid early signs that environmentalists and GOP fossil fuel advocates may be willing to reconsider their opposition to accomplish their own objectives. Despite noting its support for Manchin’s reintroduced legislation, the White House made no mention of fossil fuels in its recently released permitting reform wishlist.

In early March, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), opened a public request for comment on the potential hazards of gas stoves, a potential first step towards banning them in new construction. A CPSC spokesperson at the time told the DCNF that the agency had “been clear” it had no plans to engage in such regulation, although CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. argued that the need for such regulation had reached a “boiling point” in an October 2022 internal memo.

The DOE did not immediately respond to a DCNF request for comment.

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