First on Fox: House Small Business Committee Pressure on the Biden administration Because of its measures targeting commercial refrigeration equipment, which it said could lead to higher costs for small businesses.
In a message early Thursday to Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmSmall Business Committee Chairman Roger Williams, R-Texas, and five other Republicans on the committee asked for information about the impacts of potential regulations that the Department of Energy (DOE) is actively considering. In June 2022, the Department of Energy indicated in federal filings that it would move forward with drafting new, more stringent energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment.
“The Biden administration continues to push a radical climate agenda that makes owning a small business more difficult,” Williams told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“The President’s energy efficiency regulations are forcing Main Street to change its operations to pay the Green New Deal bill,” the Texas Republican added. “This committee will continue its fight against burdensome regulations and strive to make life easier and more affordable for our job creators.”
Under Williams’ leadership, the Small Business Commission actively sought to review federal regulations and rulemaking in an effort to examine their impact on small business operators nationwide. The committee took particular interest in Department of Energy regulations targeting common household appliances that consumer advocacy groups have warned will lead to higher costs in the future.
As part of its broad energy efficiency agenda, DOE published a Notice of Availability of Initial Technical Support Document and Request for Comment on potential standards impacting commercial refrigerators, freezers, and freezers (CRE). The Department of Energy did not do this Proposing specific regulationsbut investigated with industry stakeholders whether current standards are sufficient.
“AHRI requests that DOE address this rulemaking unilaterally and use a collaborative approach to regulating CRE,” the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, a leading industry group representing manufacturers, wrote to the DOE months later. “AHRI also advises DOE that these hasty, last-minute rulemakings often lead to hasty and inaccurate results, and debilitatingly limit manufacturers’ ability to adequately review and provide useful feedback.”
“Industry and DOE have collaborated successfully in the past, with very positive results. While AHRI recognizes the tremendous pressure DOE is under to update testing procedures, energy conservation standards, etc. for HVACR equipment in general, it can Significantly more complete and accurate results were obtained by following the correct rulemaking process and working collaboratively in a meaningful way, the group added.
The North American Food Equipment Manufacturers Association added in a separate letter that it was also concerned about “the pace at which the Department of Energy is proposing different rules regarding products” made by its members.
The White House and Department of Energy then held a meeting with AHRI, including the group’s vice president for government affairs Samantha Slater, on August 7 to discuss the still-ongoing rulemaking, according to federal filings reviewed by Fox News Digital.
“As a result of this effort, DOE may propose and adopt more stringent standards or issue a determination that modifications to existing standards are not required,” the White House Office of Budget Management said regarding potential CRE regulations.
“Once completed, this rulemaking will satisfy DOE’s legal obligation to either amend the standards for this equipment or determine that the standards do not need to be amended.”
In their letter to Granholm on Thursday, Williams and the other Republicans on the Small Business Committee requested a broad range of data and information About how these regulationsAnd others, that would affect small businesses, especially restaurants.
“It is important for agencies to examine the interests of small businesses — which make up 99.9 percent of all businesses in the United States — when passing any new rule,” they wrote in the letter. “America’s small businesses deserve to have their voices heard and taken into account.”
In addition to Williams, Reps. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., Maria Salazar, R-Fla., Mark Molinaro, R-U.I., Mark Alford, R-Mo., and Aaron Bean, R-Fla., also signed. the message.
Meanwhile, over the past few months, the Department of Energy has unveiled new standards for A wide range of other devices Including gas stoves, washing machines, residential refrigerators and air conditioners.
According to the current Consolidated Federal Agenda, a semi-annual government-wide list that highlights regulatory agencies Plan to propose or finalize Within the next 12 months, the Biden administration is also moving forward with rules affecting dozens of other devices, including pool pumps, battery chargers, ceiling fans and dehumidifiers.
The Department of Energy recently said its previous and planned device regulations would save Americans $570 billion Reducing greenhouse gas emissions By more than 2.4 billion metric tons over the next 30 years.
However, consumer groups and experts have criticized the administration for its policies Strong energy efficiency campaign. They argued that the new regulations would reduce consumer choices and increase costs for Americans.
“It’s spreading to more and more devices. It seems like almost everything that’s plugged into or running around the home is either subject to pending regulation or soon will be,” said Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who previously told Fox. News Digital.
“Consumers won’t like any of it,” he added. “These rules are almost always bad for consumers for the simple reason that they restrict consumer choice.”
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