Democrat President Joe Biden has just been hit with a legal challenge over his administration’s crackdown on traditional gas-powered furnaces in Americans’ homes.
The natural gas industry has filed a lawsuit against the Biden admin over its regulations targeting traditional gas-powered residential appliances.
Rulemaking energy groups say the new regulations will impact more than half of all U.S. households.
The legal challenge was filed late Monday and is led by the American Gas Association (AGA).
The AGA’s members provide natural gas to more than 74 million customers nationwide.
In the legal challenge, the AGA is joined by several trade associations and one manufacturer.
Biden Department of Energy (DOE) finalized the regulations in late September.
The groups argued the agency’s action effectively bans the sale of a large swath of furnaces enjoyed by consumers.
AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert said in a statement:
“AGA has attempted to work with the Department of Energy to address the rule’s profound impacts on consumers and homeowners with a solutions-oriented approach to energy conservation that protects consumers and ensures the continued availability of low-cost, low-emission natural gas furnaces.
“Unfortunately, our 114 pages of comments have been summarily ignored.
“This ruling from DOE will push American families with natural gas heat into a corner — when their furnace goes out, they’ll be forced to choose between retrofitting for electric with the increased month-to-month utility bills that entails or engaging in a costly and time-consuming renovation to retrofit their home for a completely different type of natural gas furnace,” she continued.
Harbert warned that families and businesses will be “saddled with increased costs” as a result of the regulations.
She also noted that the green agenda regulations offer “little environmental gain.”
The DOE’s finalized regulations are slated to go into effect in 2028.
They specifically require furnaces to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 95%, meaning manufacturers would only be allowed to sell furnaces that convert at least 95% of fuel into heat within six years.
The current market standard AFUE for a residential furnace is 80%.
Because of the stringent AFUE requirements, the regulations would largely take non-condensing gas furnaces — which are generally less efficient, but cheaper — off the market. However, consumers who replace their non-condensing furnace with a condensing furnace after the rule is implemented face hefty installation costs.
Overall, AGA has estimated the DOE regulations would remove up to 60% of current residential furnaces from the market.
Additionally, AGA said on Monday that the regulations impact 55% of American households.
They would lead to higher costs for 30% of senior households, 27% of small businesses, and 26% of low-income households.
Along with a slew of other Biden administration actions targeting popular home appliances, DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm has defended the regulations, however.
Granholm argues they will lead to more efficient appliances, lower costs, and reduced carbon emissions.
After finalizing the furnace regulations on September 29, Granholm said:
“At the direction of Congress, DOE is continuing to review and finalize energy standards for household appliances, such as residential furnaces, to lower costs for working families by reducing energy use and slashing harmful pollutants in homes across the nation.”
According to the DOE, the Biden admin’s appliance regulations will save Americans $570 billion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons over the next 30 years.
Of course, there is no way to prove these claims today.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Washington state are “fighting climate change” by cracking down on gasoline-powered tools
As Slay News reported, Washington Democrats are pushing for members of the public to be jailed for up to one year if they are caught using gas-powered gardening tools.
The Democrat lawmakers introduced House Bill 1868 earlier this month.