House passes bill to make it harder to regulate home appliance energy efficiency

The House on Tuesday passed a bill aimed at making it more difficult for the Energy Department to enact energy efficiency rules for household appliances — the latest in Republicans’ efforts related to such appliances.

The vote was 212-195, with seven Democrats voting with Republicans in favor of the measure. The bill would both add hurdles to creating new appliance standards and make it easier to revoke existing standards.

Republicans have repeatedly hammered Democrats over their efforts to make appliances more energy efficient but the legislation is unlikely to move beyond the lower chamber.

The issue boiled over last year after a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission floated a gas stove ban. However, the head of the independent commission and the White House both have said they do not want to ban gas stoves.

Nevertheless, the backlash may have had an impact — final stove efficiency standards from the Energy Department were ultimately watered down.

Zack Budryk contributed.

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