Last month, President Biden’s Department of Energy proposed new efficiency standards for washing machines that require new appliances to use considerably less water, all in an effort to “confront the global climate crisis.”
Leading industry corporations have voiced their opinion on the rule, claiming the mandates force manufacturers to reduce cleaning performance to ensure their machines comply. As the Washington Free Beacon described it, “each cycle will take longer, the detergent will cost more, and in the end, the clothes will be less clean,” according to manufacturers.
The proposed washing machine change is the latest example of the Biden administration pushing more consumer regulations to advance green initiatives. In February, the administration received heat for a leaked proposal which would have banned half of America’s gas stoves in addition to another proposal to heavily regulate refrigerators.
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“Like many efficiency standards, the government claims that although these standards will raise the cost of appliances, they are justified because they will reduce consumer spending on energy and water even more. Of course, if that were true, consumers would likely buy more efficient appliances anyway, given that studies show consumers consider energy and water costs,” American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow James Coleman told Fox News Digital. “If consumers do fully consider what they will pay on energy in their individual circumstances, then the standards would, on-net, harm consumers.”
“This proposal builds on the more than 110 actions the Biden-Harris administration took in 2022 to strengthen energy efficiency standards and save the average family at least $100 annually through lower energy bills,” the Department of Energy said in a press release. “Collectively these energy efficiency actions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons, save consumers $570 billion cumulatively over 30 years, and support President Biden’s ambitious clean energy agenda to combat the climate crisis.”
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The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers argued that the Energy Department’s washing machine regulations “would have a disproportionate, negative impact on low-income households” by eliminating cheaper appliances from the market. The Energy Department estimates that manufacturers will incur nearly $700 million in conversion costs to transition to the new machines.
“The proposal also argues that it won’t reduce appliance performance, but skepticism is warranted because past regulations have often been found to reduce performance,” Coleman told Fox News Digital.