The prospect of banning residential gas stoves is, once again, lighting Washington aflame.
The notion of banning the highly-popular cooking method began with a seemingly straight-forward comment from a Biden administration appointee to America’s top consumer product regulator. Now, new reports are emerging of an alternative path to eliminating the stove cooktops.
Driving the news: A report from Bloomberg citing U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumka, Jr.’s wish to eliminate the use of gas stoves for their alleged health impacts and effect on climate change drove a public backlash from homeowners and appliance manufacturers.
- Last week, the U.S. Energy Department jumped back into the gas stove fray with a new set of rules for consideration that would drastically roll back the amount of energy consumption allowed by cooktops, conceivably forcing the elimination of the product altogether.
- As designed, 20 of the 21 top-selling gas stove models marketed in the United States would not comply with the rules, requiring manufacturers to completely redesign their products or abandon gas stoves altogether.
A look at the blow back: Opposition to the Energy Department’s rules has come in fast and swift, with a pair of U.S. Senators already mulling a measure to block any regulatory ban.
- Last Thursday, Sens. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) and Ted Cruz (R–Tex.) paired up to introduce the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act blocking the Consumer Product Safety Commission from banning the use of gas stoves
What they’re saying: Critics of the proposal argue that the supposed benefits of the new regulation are paltry compared to the total overhaul of the U.S. kitchen.
- “The stated purpose of the rule-making is to reduce energy consumption and save consumers money. But these benefits are meager. The department estimates the proposed rule would reduce energy use by a mere 3.4% from the status quo, and consumers on average would save $21.89 over a cook-top’s lifetime,” The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote Friday.
- The Journal Ed Board also points to a component of the Inflation Reduction Act which includes hefty consumer incentives to purchase and transition to electric stoves from gas as part of the groundwork to eliminate gas stovetops.
- “The federal government has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner, which is why Senator Cruz and I introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure Americans decide how to cook in their own homes,” Manchin said in a statement on his bill.