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Republican senator aims to force Biden admin to crank thermostats higher to follow their own climate guidance

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is introducing legislation Wednesday that would force the federal agencies to comply with their past recommendations and set their offices’ thermostats to 78 degrees.

Ernst’s so-called Lead by Example Act would mandate that the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to set all their thermostats to “no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit” when the air conditioning is on. The legislation would also require both agencies to submit a report to Congress, detailing the temperature in their offices since January 2021 when the Biden administration took power.

“I’m turning up the heat on the Biden administration to pull the plug on their ridiculous regulations and make Washington bureaucrats think twice before imposing arbitrary rules on Americans,” Ernst said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “If they truly believe it’s good enough for hardworking Americans, they should be ready and willing to lead by example and follow their own guidelines.”

“The reality is, Biden bureaucrats are pushing their out-of-touch agenda on the American people to compensate for their failed radical green agenda,” she continued. “It’s time to make ‘em squeal and sweat!”

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“I’m turning up the heat on the Biden administration to pull the plug on their ridiculous regulations,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Ernst’s office pointed to recommendations from Energy Star, the energy efficiency program overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, which says Americans should set their thermostats to 78 degrees in the morning, 85 degrees during the day and 82 degrees at night while sleeping. The guidance dates back to 2019 during the Trump administration.

In addition, the Energy Star recommendations state a “programmable thermostat is ideal” for saving energy and money.

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“Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs,” the guidance states.

“Did you know the energy used in the average house is responsible for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as the average car?” the guidance adds. “When power plants burn fossil fuels to make electricity, they release greenhouse gases. By using less energy at home, you help reduce the emissions that contribute to global warming.”

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan is pictured during a Senate hearing on May 3. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ernst’s legislation comes as the Biden administration continues its pursuit of an all-of-government approach to fighting global warming. This year alone, the administration has unveiled a number of appliance regulations, introduced the most stringent-ever tailpipe emissions regulations and announced a power plant emissions plan to force fossil fuel plants to adopt costly technology or shut down.

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“Home electricity prices have increased more than 10 percent since just last summer,” Ernst remarked during a recent Senate floor speech. “What’s worse than these expensive energy bills?  Well, how about no power at all?”

“Most of the nation is currently in danger of experiencing power outages due to energy shortages caused by the closure of power plants as part of the Democrats’ push towards renewables,” she continued. “These Biden Blackouts will make it impossible to even run fans and air conditioners on the hottest days of the summer!”


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