Manchin Scrubs Vote on Energy Agency Nominee Over Gas Stove Rule

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(Bloomberg) -- Senator Joe Manchin pulled his support for an Energy Department nominee in protest of the agency’s plan to regulate gas stoves, the latest skirmish in the Democratic senator’s battle over the Biden administration energy and environment policies.

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Manchin, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, scrubbed a vote planned Wednesday on the nomination of Jeff Marootian to be assistant secretary of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the division charged with spearheading the stove efficiency rule Manchin opposes.

“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,” said the moderate Democrat from the coal and gas rich state of West Virginia. “For that reason, I’m not comfortable moving forward with Mr. Marootian at this time.”

The Energy Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year the department made public first-of-their-kind limits on the energy consumption of gas stoves, as well as electric cook tops, a move the industry said could lead to some products being removed from the market. The rules came just weeks after regulations of the appliances became a national issue following an official with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission floating the idea of a ban. The GOP seized on the ban as a symbol of government overreach.

Read More: Manchin Threatens More Biden Nominees in White House Blast

Manchin, who serves as a key swing vote in the narrowly divided Senate, has regularly sparred with the administration over the government’s implementation of provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act intended to force the sale of new oil and gas leases and require electric vehicles to use US-made components to qualify for tax credits.

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