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Committee on Small Business Hearing Examines Side Effects of Misguided DOE Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Roger Williams (R-TX) led a full Committee on Small Business hearing titled “Burdensome Regulations: Examining the Effects of Department of Energy Regulations on America’s Job Creators.” Chairman Williams issued the following statement after today’s hearing.

“With every new regulation from this administration, it seems like they have it out for Main Street America,” said Chairman Williams. “Overreaching, burdensome regulations from the Energy Department, like those on gas stoves, ceiling fans, and refrigerators, force our job creators to play defense and take time away from their core mission. These actions force Main Street to foot the bill for a radical climate agenda. This Committee will continue to stand with our entrepreneurs and work to eliminate bureaucratic overreach wherever possible.”


Watch the full hearing here.

Below are some key excerpts from today’s hearing:

Chairman Williams: “Mr. Lewis, in your testimony, you highlight that you believe the best thing that Congress could do to protect small business and consumers is to take away DOD's standards setting authority entirely. Can you expand on why you feel this is an important step and why DOE should not be the one responsible for setting these standards?” Mr. Lewis: “DOE has been setting these standards ever since EPCA was adopted and perhaps parts of the federal government even before that, and EPCA was enacted in 1975. So we've had literally decades of mandatory increases in energy efficiency of appliances. And we have, I think, long past the point of capturing all the low hanging fruit. And so we had an example that was mentioned before of the improving energy efficiency by 1/10 of 1 percent, and it's really hard to believe that that translates into gigantic net savings to small businesses or the economy.”

Rep. Stauber: “Today we're here to talk about the devastating effects of the DOE’s efficiency standards on small businesses and families in our districts. These standards are designed to reduce energy consumption in our homes and businesses. However, they have had the unintended consequence of making our homes less affordable and more expensive to build. Ms. Huey, you mentioned in your testimony that you think federal regulatory agencies should include the, quote, true, end quote, cost of regulations in the rulemaking process. Can you expand a bit what you mean by the true cost?” Ms. Huey: “Yes, sir. Thank you for the question. What I've come to learn in the regulatory rulemaking process here in Washington is that agencies are only required to consider the direct cost of crafting new regulations. They don't take into consideration sometimes just the waiting time. Time is money, time that I have to spend waiting for water taps to be installed, waiting for zoning approval, waiting for permitting, all of those sorts of things to be taken into consideration as well.”

Rep. Van Duyne: “We just heard testimony on and answers to some of the questions that said that these regulations benefit small businesses. Mr. Broman, I'm going to ask you, you work for a small business. How often do you guys go, oh goody, we got more regulations. These are going to benefit us.” Mr. Bauman: “It’s hurt us from the as I said, from the product side, our competitiveness and ability to offer, innovate products and work along those lines versus we're taking time to address regulations to meet with. And as Ms. Hammond mentioned, we were in a meeting yesterday with the DOE, of course about commercial refrigeration equipment. I was there, I was basically the only small business. There were a few others there were a handful, but a lot of small businesses don't have the opportunity like we've invested in to do that. So it has absolutely been a burden.”