In an unexpected turn of events, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has decided to cancel the vote to advance President Biden’s nominee to oversee energy efficiency regulations (gas stove ban). Committee Chairman Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, made the last-minute change, pulling the agenda item that was scheduled to consider Biden’s nomination of Jeff Marootian to lead the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
Chairman Manchin cited concerns regarding proposed stove efficiency rules put forth by the office Marootian has been nominated to lead. While Manchin had initially supported Marootian’s nomination in December, he expressed reservations about the broader implications of these rules, perceiving them as part of an administration-wide effort to eliminate fossil fuels. The West Virginia lawmaker emphasized that while the rules would only apply to new stoves, he remains uncomfortable moving forward with Marootian at this time.
Marootian, who had previously served as a special assistant to President Biden and as the director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation, was first nominated to the EERE office in July 2022. However, the position has remained vacant since Daniel Simmons, who led the office during the Trump administration, left the Department of Energy early in 2021.
In September, DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm appointed Marootian as her senior advisor for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Following his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in November, Marootian was reported out of the committee in December. However, his nomination encountered a delay at the end of the session, necessitating Biden to renominate him in January.
Manchin is furious that he got humiliated when the President lied to him about the infrastructure act and now he’s getting revenge. Marootian is supposed to spearhead the gas stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher bans.