Ever heard the phrase “Give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile”?
Biden’s Department of Energy on July 21 released new proposed energy-efficiency standards for water heaters.
This is the latest round in the administration’s ongoing home-invasion campaign in the name of stopping climate change and saving the world, all while actively making life harder for everyday Americans.
If finalized as currently written, beginning in 2029, this regulation would require new boiler installations to use electric heat pumps, which pull heat from the surrounding air to bring water up to temperature, instead of heating the water internally.
Moreover, standards for traditional gas-fired water heaters will become stricter, thus making them more costly, which is in line with the Biden administration’s push toward full home appliance electrification.
This latest efficiency mandate, like the ones that came before, stems from the Environmental Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, signed into law by President Gerald Ford at a time when there were great fears of energy scarcity. But in 2023, with the advent of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, more energy is available to us now than ever before.
According to the Energy Information Administration, in 1975 America imported more than 5,800 barrels of crude oil and petroleum products daily. But in 2023, America is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and a net exporter of them.
Following Biden’s crackdown on dishwashers, the water heater rule is the latest in a long series of attempts (in 18 categories, to be exact) to restrict Americans’ ability to enjoy cheap, reliable energy, brought to us by conventional fuels.
The onerous home appliance efficiency mandates will raise prices of appliances, disproportionately hurting poor people and small businesses.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm claims her department’s latest edict is going to save Americans $198 billion over 30 years. In reality, especially if history is any indication, Americans are going to have to tighten their belts and prepare for appliance price increases.
The government’s plan will undoubtedly raise costs if this proposed rule were to become finalized. And don’t be fooled with tantalizing tax credits, because you’ll still be paying the full price via the hidden inflation tax.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., lambasted this latest exercise in government overreach in a series of tweets, stating that individual Americans ought to be the ones who decide which water heater is best for their individual needs.
Massie points out that the boilers the Energy Department is pushing take longer to heat water, nor is it guaranteed that the meager monthly heating savings can make up for high initial costs of purchasing and installing the new water heaters.
The rationale for this water heater rule, along with other appliance-efficiency regulations, is to reduce carbon emissions. The Energy Department claims that this rule will bring a 501 million metric ton reduction in supposedly “harmful” carbon dioxide emissions over the next three decades.
That sounds like a lot of carbon, but according to The Heritage Foundation’s chief statistician, Kevin Dayaratna, if the United States were to eliminate all of its conventional fuel use, it would result in a mere two-tenths of 1-degree Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100.
Hold that next to Communist China, which burned an estimated 4.6 billion tons of coal in 2021 alone, in its more than 1,100 coal-fired power plants. That compares to America’s 547 million tons (12% of China’s carbon dioxide emissions), so such a microscopic change becomes even more meaningless.
The government has no right to tell Americans which dishwasher, stove, or water heater is best for them. This extreme government overreach will likely end up costing Americans untold sums of money (despite the Energy Department’s projections) and reduce our access to hot water.
These onerous efficiency standards would have no meaningful effect on pollution reduction. For these reasons, the Energy Department should rescind this proposed rule and stop its crusade against home appliances.
Editor’s note: The reduction in global temperature from the U.S. eliminating all conventional fuel use was misstated and has been corrected.
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