EXCLUSIVE: New legislation introduced by a Republican senator aims to turn up the temperature on federal environmental regulators – literally.
Iowa GOP Sen. Joni Ernst filed a bill Monday that would require the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to dial up their thermostats to a minimum of 78 degrees at their headquarters when the air conditioning is running in order to fall in line with California's recommendations for their residents in the midst of a statewide energy crisis.
The legislation, dubbed the Lead By Example Act of 2022, would also require Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and EPA administrator Michael Regan to submit reports to Congress describing at which temperature their headquarters' respective thermostats have been set at since the Biden administration began.
California's energy grid operator has strongly urged the state's residents to set their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher for several days this summer, as a heat wave brought record outside temperatures and threatened to cripple the state's grid amid high demand.
The California Independent System Operator (ISO) also asked residents not to charge their electric vehicles in recent days in order to provide some relief for the grid, shortly after the state moved to ban gas-powered cars by 2035.
Granholm praised California's ban on gas-powered cars, saying that it was in line with President Biden's goal of having half of the new vehicles sold in the U.S. be electric by 2030.
Now, Ernst is asking office workers at the DOE and EPA to fall in line themselves with California's requests of its citizens. Besides, the DOE also uses 78 degrees as example of an appropriate temperature during the day in the summer, according to its Energy Star program.
"During a hot summer, liberal leaders told Americans to set the AC to 78 degrees to compensate for failed Democratic policies. Secretary of Energy Granholm praised the move, saying states like California are leading by example," Ernst told FOX Business. "It’s time for Biden officials to adhere to the same regulations they’re forcing on hardworking Americans."
"My bill requires EPA and the Department of Energy to set the AC no lower than 78 degrees, and provide a report to Congress on what they’ve had the AC set at in the past," the Iowa senator continued. " Not only will this make Washington bureaucrats think twice before imposing arbitrary rules on Americans, it could even save money. It’s time to make ‘em squeal, and sweat!"