Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) has sent a letter alongside nearly 50 of her colleagues to demand that congressional appropriations leadership reject appropriations provisions that would “gut new energy efficiency standards.”
The letter, sent to both House and Senate Appropriations leaders, calls for an agenda that retains the power of the Department of Energy (DOE) as it relates to energy conservation.
“As Congress works to come to an agreement on appropriations for fiscal year 2024, we write to oppose provisions in H.R. 4394, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024, that would diminish the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) authority to set energy conservation standards for a range of appliances,” wrote Rep. Castor and the lawmakers.
The DOE’s energy efficiency standards currently cover more than 60 different products ranging from laundry machines and dishwashers to lighting technologies, according to Rep. Castor’s press release. Additionally, it adds that the standards will provide savings (nearly $1 trillion over the next three decades) to American consumers while also “decarbonizing crucial sectors of the economy” should the standards remain in place.
“By ensuring that standards are up-to-date, we can save money and energy while also ensuring that consumers have a wide range of top-performing choices that suit them,” the lawmakers continued. “As a result of standards in effect today, the average American household saves approximately $500 annually on utility bills.”
Moreover, supporters of “energy efficiency and climate stakeholders” provided a comment on the letter.
“This attack by House Republicans on consumers would block the Department of Energy from reviewing, assessing, and updating appliance energy efficiency standards,” said Margie Alt, Climate Action Campaign Director. “Since their inception in 1987, appliance efficiency standards have reduced family utility bills by about $500 per month. New efficiency standards will drive innovation and save families even more money in the future. Plus, updated appliance efficiency standards will reduce climate pollution. Congress must reject this effort to keep profits high for big polluters at the expense of our families and our environment.”
Congresswoman Kathy Castor represents Florida’s 14th District. She once served as the Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.