Manchin Torpedoes Vote On Biden Energy Nominee Over Crackdown On Gas Stoves

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Bloomberg reported that Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia canceled a scheduled vote on Wednesday for the nomination of an official at the Department of Energy (DOE), over the office’s efforts to regulate the gas stoves.

Bloomberg reported that Manchin, in his role as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, blocked the vote for Jeff Marootian to be appointed assistant secretary of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Marootian is currently a senior advisor to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Bloomberg reported that the office was responsible for a DOE proposal to impose stricter energy efficiency and emissions standards on gas stoves.

Manchin, in a press release shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation, said: “While I supported the nomination of Mr. Marootian in December I have raised concerns since then about the stove efficiency rules proposed by the office that he has been nominated as the leader.” “While I understand that these rules only apply to new appliances, my opinion is that they are part of a larger, Administration-wide initiative to eliminate fossil fuels. “For that reason, I don’t feel comfortable moving forward at this time with Mr.Marootian.”

Manchin has been critical of the Biden administration’s implementation of President Obama’s signature climate legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act. Manchin had supported the bill in exchange for passage of reform measures that allowed the use of permits. Manchin is particularly upset with the Biden Administration’s willingness and refusal to support fossil fuel industry, as well as its willingness to grant IRA tax credit to foreign companies.

Manchin’s permit reforms, despite White House support, were stymied in Congress by bipartisan resistance. However, the West Virginia Senator recently reintroduced this legislation in May amid signs that both environmentalists, and GOP fossil-fuel advocates, may be willing reconsider their opposition for their own goals. The White House did not mention fossil fuels on its recent wish list for permitting reforms, despite stating its support for Manchin’s reintroduced bill.

Early in March, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission opened a request for public comment on potential gas stove hazards, a possible first step to banning them from new construction. A CPSC spokeswoman told DCNF at the time that the agency “had been clear” that it did not plan to engage in this regulation. However, CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. argued in an internal memo in October 2022 that such regulation was needed.

The DOE didn’t immediately respond to DCNF’s request for comment.