A federal court on Tuesday rejected arguments by the Biden Department of Energy (DOE) that it is mandated to roll back energy and water usage by dishwashers and washing machines, concluding that the federal agency overstepped its boundaries by promulgating regulations that “border on frivolous.”
A decision by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals obtained by The Daily Caller reads that the judge was unconvinced by the Biden administration’s assertion that it was compelled to roll back Trump-era regulations that favored appliances that used more water and energy. The judge ruled that the DOE has no authority to regulate “water use” by dishwashers or washing machines.
“[I]s unclear that DOE has statutory authority to regulate water use in dishwashers and clothes washers,” the opinion states.
“But even if DOE has water-usage authority over the relevant appliances, the Department (b) failed to adequately consider the negative consequences of the Repeal Rule, including the substitution effects of energy-and-water-wasting rewashing, prewashing, and handwashing. In promulgating the Repeal Rule, DOE stated that its energy conservation program must promote ‘water conservation’ and regulate ‘water use’ … But it is unclear how or why DOE thinks it has any statutory authority to regulate ‘water use’ in dishwashers and washing machines.”
Further arguments by the DOE that it “failed to adequately consider the [Energy Policy Conservation Act’s] requirements” were compounded by the fact that, in mandating more energy-efficient appliances, consumers would be forced to use even more energy and water to compensate for poor performance.
“In our court, however, DOE pretends it repealed the 2020 rules because it committed merely procedural errors by ‘failing to adequately consider the [Energy Policy Conservation Act’s] requirements … It borders on frivolous to say the 2020 Rules failed to consider” the relevant statutes, as “the 2020 Rules considered these sections extensively,” the opinion states. The DOE “amplified its capriciousness by throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
“[T]hey make Americans use more energy and more water for the simple reason that purportedly ‘energy efficient’ appliances do not work,” the opinion concludes.
Devin Watkins, an attorney for the non-profit libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, praised the decision.
“In this opinion, the court has forced DOE to follow the law and even noted that one of the positions DOE took in this suit ‘borders on frivolous.’ This decision allows manufacturers to build better dishwashers, not be encumbered by counterproductive federal regulations,” Devin Watkins, an attorney for CEI, said of the opinion.
From dishwashers to water heaters, pool pumps, and electric vehicles, the Biden administration is aggressively pursuing a green economy that critics say comes at the expense of product performance and consumer choice. EVs, arguably one of the largest purchases in a consumer’s lifetime, have fallen off a cliff as buyers have chafed at lower rebates, higher electricity prices, and a shortage of charging ports across the country.