Biden Administration Faces Legal Challenge on Gas Appliance Restrictions

( – The natural gas industry in America is pushing back against part of the Biden administration’s green agenda, filing a legal challenge against recent regulations from the Department of Energy that would effectively ban a large majority of furnaces on the market today.

What’s more, according to the American Gas Association (AGA), implementation of the rules would also mean that a large number of Americans would be saddled with large and unnecessary expenses in order for them to comply with the rules.

The Department of Energy released a set of rules in September that mandate that all furnaces in the country have an annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, of 95% by 2028, as opposed to the current standard, which is 80%. AFUE refers to the amount of fuel a furnace can convert into heat. The AGA says that the rule will take out around 60% of furnaces available in the current market. In addition to this, the AGA estimates that 55% of Americans will need to fork out money out of their pockets in order to upgrade their furnaces; seniors, many of whom live in older homes with older systems, will be particularly affected by the rule, the AGA added.

In a statement, AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert bemoaned the DOE’s seeming dismissive attitude towards concerns raised by the natural gas industry.

Harbert said that the AGA submitted 144 pages worth of comments, but the Energy Department “summarily ignored” them, adding that the AGA and the natural gas industry have always been open to working with the government to come up with a “solutions-oriented approach to energy conservation” that also benefits customers. As it stands, the new rules set by the DOE saddle American families and businesses with “increased costs with little environmental gain,” according to Harbert.

Despite the legal challenge, the DOE, led by Secretary Jennifer Granholm, has stood by its issuance of the new rules. Granholm said that under the DOE’s directive, families will spend less because of the more efficient furnaces while also contributing to the reduction of gas emissions into the environment.

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