Biden Pulls Energy Department Nominee After Gas Stove Spat With Manchin

(Bloomberg) -- The White House withdrew its nominee for an Energy Department posting, ending a months-long standoff and handing a win to Senator Joe Manchin, who has protested the agency’s plans to regulate gas stoves.

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Jeff Marootian’s nomination to be assistant secretary of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy had been stalled since May, when Manchin, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, scrubbed a committee vote. At the time, Manchin argued he was “not comfortable moving forward” with Marootian, who had been tapped to lead the Energy Department division spearheading the stove energy-efficiency rule that the senator opposed.

Earlier this year, the department made public first-of-their-kind limits on the energy consumption of gas stoves as well as electric cook tops. The industry blasted the move, saying it could lead to some products being removed from the market.

The DOE rules came just weeks after regulations around gas stoves became a national issue when an official with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission floated the idea of a ban. That drew outrage from Manchin and others who siezed on it as symbol of government overreach.

A White House official said Marootian, who serves as a special advisor to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, would be appointed as the agency’s principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

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