The Department of Energy under President Biden has recently proposed new efficiency standards for washing machines to tackle the global climate crisis. These new rules require manufacturers to use significantly less water in their appliances. While some have welcomed the move, leading industry corporations have criticized the mandates, claiming they will force manufacturers to reduce cleaning performance to comply. Manufacturers like Whirlpool have warned that each cycle will take longer, detergents will cost more, and clothes will be less clean. This is the latest example of the Biden administration pushing for more consumer regulations to advance green initiatives. In February, the administration came under fire for a leaked proposal that would have banned half of America's gas stoves, along with another proposal to regulate refrigerators heavily. [tweet_embed]March 14, 2023[/tweet_embed] As the debate continues, James Coleman, a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has pointed out that "if consumers do fully consider what they will pay on energy in their individual circumstances, then the standards would, on-net, harm consumers." In other words, while the new regulations may reduce consumer spending on energy and water, they will likely raise the cost of appliances, which could ultimately harm consumers. The Department of Energy, however, remains confident in its proposal. "This proposal builds on the more than 110 actions the Biden-Harris administration took in 2022 to strengthen energy efficiency standards and save the average family at least $100 annually through lower energy bills," the Department said in a press release. "Collectively these energy efficiency actions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons, save consumers $570 billion cumulatively over 30 years, and support President Biden’s ambitious clean energy agenda to combat the climate crisis." The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers has also weighed in on the issue, arguing that the Energy Department's washing machine regulations "would have a disproportionate, negative impact on low-income households" by eliminating cheaper appliances from the market. The Energy Department estimates manufacturers will incur nearly $700 million in conversion costs to transition to the new machines. Despite the Department's assurances that the new regulations will not reduce appliance performance, Coleman remains skeptical, stating that "past regulations have often been found to reduce performance." As the debate rages on, it is clear that the Biden administration's push for green initiatives and consumer regulations will continue to be a contentious issue for both manufacturers and consumers alike.