President Biden's nominee, deemed too fringe by his own party, was withdrawn following opposition from Senator Joe Manchin.
In a recent development, the White House decided to retract its choice for overseeing energy efficiency regulations.
This decision was influenced by the opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin.
The individual in question, Jeff Marootian, was initially nominated to lead the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. This office is responsible for setting appliance regulations and standards. However, his nomination faced challenges when Manchin decided to halt an Energy and Natural Resources Committee vote that would have moved the nomination to the next stage.
Manchin expressed his reservations about the nominee. He stated that while he had supported Marootian's nomination in the past, recent stove efficiency rules proposed by the office raised concerns for him.
Manchin further elaborated on his stance, indicating that he viewed these rules as part of a broader effort by the administration to phase out fossil fuels. Due to these concerns, he was not in favor of proceeding with Marootian's nomination.
Following Manchin's remarks, the White House was quick to defend its choice. An official from the White House communicated that the president fully supports all his nominees, especially those chosen for crucial roles in the Department of Energy.
Jeff Marootian's journey to this nomination began in July 2022. Before this, he served as a special assistant to President Biden and was the director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation. The position he was nominated for had been vacant since the departure of Daniel Simmons, the previous office head during the Trump administration, Fox News reported.
Later, DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm appointed Marootian as her senior adviser for energy efficiency and renewable energy. His confirmation hearing took place in November, and by December, he was reported out of the committee. However, his nomination faced delays, leading President Biden to renominate him the following January.
DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm had previously expressed her confidence in Marootian. She believed he was the perfect candidate to lead the Department's most significant applied energy office. Granholm was hopeful that Marootian would assist the administration in achieving its ambitious clean energy objectives.
However, not everyone shared Granholm's enthusiasm. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso voiced his opposition, suggesting that Marootian was better suited for a role in the Transportation Department.
Since Marootian's advisory role to Granholm and the subsequent return of his nomination to the White House, the DOE has introduced several energy efficiency regulations. These regulations, which affect various household appliances, including gas stovetops, have been criticized by many as an overreach of regulatory powers.
Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, shared his concerns about the expanding scope of these regulations. He observed that an increasing number of household appliances are either currently under regulation or will be in the near future.
Lieberman emphasized that such regulations are not in the best interest of consumers. He believes that these rules limit consumer choices, which is detrimental to them.
He stated, "Consumers aren't going to like any of it. These rules are almost always bad for consumers for the simple reason that they restrict consumer choice."