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Sen. Cruz Introduces Resolution to Block Biden Administration Latest Climate Rule to Ban Inexpensive Gas Furnaces  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced a disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) today in an effort to push back against the U.S. Department of Energy’s final rule on gas furnace efficiency standards. The Biden administration’s rule will go into effect on February 16, 2024, forcing manufacturers to sell only furnaces that convert at least 95% of fuel into heat. The rule will effectively ban all non-condensing furnace models, coercing a majority of American households to adopt electric heat pumps or pay thousands of dollars to renovate their homes to meet the requirements of new residential gas furnaces.

Upon introducing the resolution, Sen. Cruz said“This administration doesn’t care that their radical climate agenda will have a catastrophic impact on American families and small businesses. I’m committed to doing everything in my power to push back against this rule that puts the radical left’s fringe climate agenda before the needs of the American people.”

Rep. Michelle Fischbach said, “The Biden Administration is once again bending to the will of the extreme Green New Deal agenda. The Department of Energy wants to ask working-class Americans with gas furnaces to replace them with electrical ones, limiting choices, further burdening the electrical grid, and unnecessarily costing families thousands of dollars. The far-Left is trying to force their agenda by any means possible, including directly into the homes of the American people. My colleagues and I will do everything we can to keep that from happening.”

 

Steve Kaminski, President & CEO, National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) said, “NPGA and its members oppose the Department of Energy’s proposed efficiency standards, citing the agency’s failure to present clear and convincing evidence. The association supports any Congressional action to push back against these efforts and to enact legislation or compel DOE to create two separate product classes — condensing and non-condensing appliances — to preserve consumer choice and availability.”

 

Stuart Saulters, Vice President of Government Relations, American Public Gas Association (APGA) said, “APGA appreciates Senator Cruz taking action to roll back a greatly flawed Department of Energy (DOE) rulemaking that finalized a new minimum efficiency standard for residential gas furnaces. The rule wrongfully drives costly fuel switching, as it bans a popular appliance technology — non-condensing furnaces — from the market. Without access to this technology, many consumers will be forced to replace their furnaces with costly retrofits, if even possible, or switch to electric alternatives. This policy is especially concerning for vulnerable, underserved communities, potentially forcing them to shift to electric furnaces, which are less affordable and efficient than the direct use of natural gas.”

 

Alex Ayers, Vice President of Government Affairs, Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) said, “HARDI and our member distributors support customer choice in how they heat their homes. The Department of Energy’s recent ruling to mandate condensing furnaces in all applications, including increasing the costs of retrofitting existing homes, hurts consumer choice. HARDI supports Senator Cruz’s efforts to protect consumers by using the Congressional Review Act in the way it was intended by stopping regulatory overreach by executive agencies.”

Barton James, President & CEO, Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) said, “On behalf of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and our membership, we sincerely thank Senator Cruz and his colleagues for spearheading the effort to overturn this misguided rule that would negatively impact our industry and drastically reduce consumer choice in the residential heating market. This resolution aligns with our strong belief that consumers and America’s HVAC Contractors should have access to whatever products and fuel sources best fit their specific needs.”

Joe Cornetta, National President, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) said, “The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association is grateful to Sen. Cruz for his call to action with a CRA focused on the final furnace rule. PHCC believes this action by Sen. Cruz will allow Congress to reign in the regulatory burden faced by those in industry, provide oversight to the agencies, and ultimately, keep heating systems affordable for the U.S. consumer.”

Sen. Cruz was joined by Sens. James Risch (Idaho), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Kennedy (R-La.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Eric Schmitt (Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in introducing the resolution. Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.) introduced the companion resolution in the House of Representatives alongside Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas).

Read the full text of the resolution here.

 

BACKGROUND

  • In January 2024, Sen. Cruz and Sen. Brown led a bipartisan effort to reign in unrealistic DOE energy efficiency standards in order to bolster the U.S. transformer supply chain and support domestic manufacturing.
  • In January 2023, Sen. Cruz sent a joint oversight letter with Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W.Va.) to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to push back against heavily regulating or banning gas stoves over safety concerns.
  • In February 2023, Sen. Cruz and Sen. Manchin introduced a bipartisan bill the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, legislation that would block the CPSC from banning gas stoves.
  • In July of 2023, Sen. Cruz and Sen. Manchin introduced a bipartisan amendment to stop CPSC from banning gas stoves was incorporated into the FY24 Financial Services and General Government funding bill.

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