Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 1.5.24

Some Things Never Change

If you thought 2024 would be any different than the first three years of the Biden Administration when it comes to overbearing energy regulations, you thought wrong. The Administration is still fully committed to their Green New Deal objectives, no matter the burden it places on everyday Americans.

Just a few days before the start of the new year, on December 29, the Biden Administration announced new regulations affecting multiple home and commercial appliances. The Department of Energy (DOE) said they have both finalized new energy efficiency standards on home refrigerators and freezers (which were proposed by the agency earlier this year) and have also proposed new standards for commercial fans and blowers.

As you may know, this is just the latest in new regulations on home appliances that the Biden Administration has implemented since the start of their tenure.

As I talked about in an August column, DOE has also announced new regulations for washing machines, gas stoves, dishwashers, air conditioners, electric water heaters, and light bulbs.

Talk about government overreach! Is there any appliance inside your own home the Administration won’t meddle with?

In a statement by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, she wrote that these new regulations are “a testament to the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to lowering utility costs for working families…”

But, according to DOE, when updating their refrigerator, Americans are projected to save just about $16 per year on their utility bill.

In many cases, because of the new regulations, new appliances will be more expensive. Really? Just to save $16 per year? 

There is also the question of effectiveness. Folks in the 9th District who have updated some of their home appliances have complained to me about the effectiveness of their appliances. Like washing machines that now don’t use enough water to properly do the job, thus causing some loads to be washed twice. Or dishwashers that take twice as long to finish their cycles because of new standards.

It should be noted that according to DOE, regulations on refrigerators and freezers are to be implemented in five to six years, depending on the model and configuration of your new appliance.

If this Administration and their left-wing allies in Congress are still in power then, maybe energy prices will be so outrageously high that it may seem worth having an appliance that is less productive than today’s appliances.

There is also the manufacturing side. For example, when the Administration announced its new regulations on gas stoves, 18 energy and consumer advocacy organizations sent a letter to DOE saying the new regulation would negatively impact consumer choice and is therefore "arbitrary and capricious" while also having little effect on climate change.

Whatever the cost impact on manufacturers is, due to the new regulations announced on December 29, you can bet it will be passed on to the consumer, which drives prices higher. 

Additionally, when announcing the proposed new standards for commercial fans and blowers, the agency said the proposed regulations are the first-ever federal regulations for these appliances.

Why did they decide to regulate commercial fans and blowers for the first time?

Because they are following the direction of California, which has established standards for general fans.

While this move is unfortunate, it’s not surprising. It seems the Administration and many on the left, including in Virginia, are taking direction from California more and more these days (example: California banning the sale of new gas-powered cars and mandating the sale of new electric cars by 2035).

As O.H. Skinner, the Alliance For Consumers' executive director, rightfully put it, “…this administration isn't just tweaking regulations. They're doing things that effectively ban whole categories of things that exist on the market.”

Meaning, it’s not just a difference in price Americans will have to deal with, but also, choice. And that choice will be whatever the Biden Administration’s government decides is right.

It’s time to stop with the overbearing green agenda being pushed by the left, without consideration of the consequences.

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I was proud to vote in favor of H.R. 6192, the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act at a December meeting. It would modify DOE’s energy efficient mandate to make sure that consumers actually save money on their utility bills in a reasonable timeframe. I will fight for policies that will protect the average American family’s interests. When creating new laws and regulations, we must weigh choices and costs on a similar footing with legitimate environmental concerns. 

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office.  You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at


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