Alabama congressmen oppose dishwasher and refrigerator regulations

On Tuesday, six Republican members of the Alabama House of Representatives voted in favor of the Stop Unaffordable Dishwasher Standards Act and the Refrigerator Freedom Act.

Rep. Barry Moore said the bills “protect our constituents from unnecessary costs and keep energy standards at reasonable and beneficial levels.” Rep. Jerry Carl said it’s “time to get Biden’s bureaucrats out of our homes.”

Moore also tweeted drawings of a dishwasher and refrigerator with the caption, “Come and take it,” a reference to a phrase often used by gun rights activists.

Both pieces of legislation are almost identical, the only difference being whether the text refers to dishwashers or to “refrigerators, fridge-freezers and freezers”.

The bills would prevent the Energy Department from creating or enforcing standards that are not “technologically feasible and economically reasonable,” that would increase costs for consumers or that would not result in “significant energy savings.” The Secretary of Energy would have to determine whether a regulation passes all three tests.

The White House said in an administration policy statement that it “strongly opposes” both bills, criticizing “vague, confusing provisions … that would add uncertainty to the implementation of these standards and create unnecessary obstacles for DOE to make future updates.”

But despite Rep. Gary Palmer calling the DOE’s recent dishwasher and refrigerator regulations part of a “regulatory war on American households,” it’s unclear whether they would have actually been covered if both bills had passed last year.

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As House Republicans note in their published policy briefs, the DOE has estimated that its recent changes to refrigerator and dishwasher regulations will actually save American consumers money. As with other federal regulations that Republicans have recently attacked, consumers would pay more up front but save money over time.

Additionally, DOE considered feasibility and energy conservation in the rulemaking process.

Perhaps for this reason, House Republicans’ policy summaries also detail several potential problems not mentioned in their legislation. One explicitly mentioned problem, not directly addressed in either bill, is that “excessive regulation will hand more economic power to China.”

One policy paper also questioned the importance of reducing CO emissions2 emissions. Referring to a book titled “Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas—Not Less,” he states that “the greater use of and reliance on fossil fuel-powered machinery and energy use” are responsible for the rise in living standards, life expectancy, and GDP.

The letter fails to address the fact that regardless of public policy, America will at some point have to transition away from fossil fuels — they are a nonrenewable resource and will inevitably run out.

The votes on both bills fell almost exactly along party lines. With Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House “overwhelmingly” opposed, the bills will likely need to be reintroduced during the next term of Congress.