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The Trump Administration announced its intention to roll back yet another climate change efficiency standard — this one for dishwashers as a result of a petition by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a well-known climate skeptic.The Hill reported that the Energy Department is planning to allow faster-cleaning dishwashers that do not comply with current energy efficiency standards, which will overturn years of progress on making these appliances energy efficient.
Why This Matters:Many Americans will give thanks on Thursday for their dishwashers. And most do not object to the time it takes for them to operate – they just want clean, safe dishes. The new rule would exempt new dishwashers from the prior energy efficiency standards — and that is a big number. For example, this year, there were nearly 9 million dishwasherssold in the U.S. The new standards would also waive the water efficiency requirements as well. The proposal would hurt consumers who will spend more on electricity and water for the new machines. There would be a big difference in savings — the energy-efficient dishwashers of today use roughly half the water and energy of their counterparts of 20 years ago, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The CEI Arguments Rebutted
First, the CEI and DOE argue that the current energy-efficient dishwashers’ quick cycles are designed only for lightly soiled dishes. Environmental and consumer groups argue that today’s dishwashers have built-in sensors that detect how dirty plates are, ensuring dishwashers take only as long as they need to get your dishes clean.
Second, CEI and DOE argue that it is only energy efficiency that has slowed dishwasher run times. But the environmental and consumer groups claim that a variety of factors has slowed down the wash cycle, including new types of detergents and consumer preference for quieter dishwashers that spray water at dishes with less pressure.
Investment in electric vehicles and their components and infrastructure continue to grow in spite of the pandemic and economic downturn, not to mention the infancy of the market.According to MarketWatch.com, there is “sky high” investor interest in clean energy and electric vehicle companies.
President Trump trumpeted his trade deal with China, but so far it has been a bust, according to The Wall Street Journal — the Chinese have not purchased nearly the amount of energy (in terms of total dollars) as they promised — only $2B in oil and gas purchases against a commitment of $25B for this year.
A federal judge in Washington, DC ruled yesterday that the Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down and empty all its oil until the government completes an environmental review of the pipeline’s impacts, giving the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies downstream, a huge victory. Similarly, late in the day, the Supreme Court refused to overturn the order of a district judge that shut down construction of parts of the Keystone XL pipeline so it is also blocked for now.
Why It Matters: The Dakota and Keystone XL news is greatly tempered by the fact that numerous other pipeline projects can go ahead despite their inadequate permit unless they are individually challenged in court and blocked.
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