Experts believe that the Democrats’ climate plans are increasingly being pushed through the federal bureaucracy due to Congress lacking of support for environmental changes.
During its first 15 months in office, the Biden administration has issued sweeping rules affecting home appliances, construction standards, fuel efficiency, and government-backed projects including infrastructure. The numerous federal regulations have been condemned by experts as likely to cause bigger costs, harm customers amid rising prices, and mostly serve as a backdoor for far more stringent environmental controls.
“They’re essentially using environmental regulations to provide backdoor subsidies,” stated Brent Bennett, an energy policy expert at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The problem is that our current laws are so broadly defined that this is possible,” he continued. “It enables this type of abuse. So the real issue is that Congress did not produce strong legislation, and those laws are now being misused.”
On his first day in office, President Biden issued an executive order to the Department of Energy (DOE) to submit “significant changes” to appliance energy efficiency standards. Within days of the executive order, the DOE unveiled a list of deregulatory measures taken by the Trump administration that it would evaluate, including those involving appliances such as water heaters, washers and drysers and cooking products.
The Biden White House has also called for far more stringent rules under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. Federal agencies would be required to evaluate the “direct,” “indirect,” and “cumulative” climate consequences of any proposed action or project that requires federal permitting approval.
While the White House claimed that the rules would improve environmental protection, experts and industry organizations warned against them creating undue hurdles for important energy and infrastructure projects.
“I don’t care if you are building a new school, a high-rise building, or trying to install low-cost housing; let alone a road or to replace bridges. You’ll have to go through the NEPA procedure and, under this new rule, the project will take years — if it’s ever even permitted — and most of them won’t be.”