The Biden administration has used an underhanded ploy to install one of the president’s failed nominees inside the Department of Energy.
The story traces back to July of 2022 when President Joe Biden nominated Jeff Marootian to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. His purpose was to lead the agency’s war on household appliances, namely the gas stove.
Fast forward to May of this year, when Sen. Joe Manchin torpedoed Marootian’s nomination.
“The West Virginia Democrat pulled Jeff Marootian, nominee to lead the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, from a markup agenda because of the agency’s proposed rules on gas stoves,” E&E News reported.
“While I supported Mr. Marootian’s nomination in December, since then the office he’s been nominated to lead has proposed stove efficiency rules that I’ve raised concerns about,” the senator said at the time.
“While I appreciate that these rules would only apply to new stoves, my view is that it’s part of a broader, administration-wide effort to eliminate fossil fuels. For that reason, I’m not comfortable moving forward with Mr. Marootian at this time,” he added.
The Biden admin says it’s not trying to ban gas stoves, but its spending binge could electrify them out of existence https://t.co/SNYg8W36rY pic.twitter.com/7Zk73VMsni
— BPR (@BIZPACReview) September 11, 2023
Rather than accept the decision or moderate its positions, the administration responded by using an underhanded move to install Marootian.
How? By promoting him to deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy — a position that requires no Senate confirmation.
Here’s the catch: The position of Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy still remains unfulfilled, meaning as the deputy assistant, Marootian is now effectively in charge.
“President Biden has yet to nominate another person to be assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, meaning Marootian, whose new position doesn’t require Senate confirmation, is the most senior official in the EERE office. The office is tasked with issuing and implementing energy efficiency regulations such as those affecting gas stoves and other home appliances,” Fox News notes.
Republicans are not pleased with this move.
“Jeff Marootian is an unelected, unaccountable, and unconfirmed bureaucrat who is carrying out President Biden’s orders to attack affordable household appliances,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member John Barrasso said in a statement to Fox News.
“These rules are making life more expensive for all Americans by denying them the products they need. Biden and Marootian are coming after appliances in every room of our home – from gas stoves in our kitchen to water heaters in our basement. The administration should put forward a new nominee who will work to lower costs and give consumers choice,” he added.
Biden official behind gas stove crackdown admits she has no clue what it takes to install an electric stove https://t.co/TtFITU0d5a pic.twitter.com/7IQMJXn8kt
— BPR (@BIZPACReview) July 22, 2023
Prior to his new position, Marootian served “as special assistant to Biden and, prior to that role, director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation,” according to Fox News.
“[Energy Secretary Jennifer] Granholm then hired Marootian as her senior adviser for energy efficiency and renewable energy in September 2022. His confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee took place in November, and he was reported out of committee in December, but his nomination stalled at the end of session, forcing Biden to renominate him in January,” Fox News notes.
All this comes in the wake of House Republicans passing a bill in June to bar the administration from outright banning gas stoves.
“Lawmakers passed the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, H.R. 1615 (118), which would bar the Consumer Product Safety Commission from banning gas stoves by a 248-180 vote. Twenty-nine Democrats ultimately voted alongside Republicans to support the measure,” Politico reported at the time.
“We know the motivation of the CPSC and throughout this entire administration is a green climate push,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong, the bill’s sponsor, said.
“The goal is to dictate how you live every aspect of your life — how you save and invest for the future by pushing ESG, how you drive by banning gas-powered cars, and now the goal is to control how you cook,” she added.
“Now they want to tell you what kind of stove you have to operate in your home and having to pick a less efficient and more costly option by banning gas stoves,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise added. “We’re pushing back against that.”
“This week, we will hold the Biden administration accountable by standing up for the American people to stop the outrageous and really insane ban on gas stoves — a bad idea that started in New York that is now being embraced by every Democrat and the Biden administration,” Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik likewise said.
BREAKING: Senator Manchin and Senator Cruz announce the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act.
‘They’re not taking my gas stove out!’ pic.twitter.com/MnD1d7jLTf
— Daniel Turner (@DanielTurnerPTF) February 2, 2023
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