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The American Gas Association criticized federal regulators for considering a ban on stoves powered by natural gas.
Richard Trumka Jr., a commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and an appointee of President Joe Biden, remarked during a Monday interview with Bloomberg that gas stoves present a “hidden hazard” and said “any option is on the table” with respect to banning the popular appliances. Trumka, the son of former AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, later clarified that any ban would only apply to “new products” after criticism from lawmakers and commentators.
A statement from the American Gas Association contended that the Consumer Product Safety Commission relied upon a study in which the authors “conducted no measurements or tests based on real-life appliance usage” and ignored former literature.
“Regulators, like the Consumer Products Safety Commission, should rely on real data and science not unsubstantiated claims of advocates,” the trade association said. “Attempts to generate consumer fears with baseless allegations to justify the banning of natural gas is a misguided agenda that will not improve the environment or the health of consumers and would saddle vulnerable populations with significant costs.”
The organization cited another study that examined the effects of gas stoves on more than 500,000 children and found “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.” Some 38% of American households use gas stoves for cooking, with the figure approaching 70% for states such as California and New Jersey, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
Increased adoption of natural gas is a significant driver of decreasing carbon emissions in the United States. The statement from the American Gas Association noted that the substance serves as an “essential back up fuel” and enables the “growth of renewables.”
Regulatory scrutiny of gas stoves follows a letter from Democratic lawmakers to the Consumer Product Safety Commission expressing concern over “the risks posed to consumers” generated by the appliances. “These emissions can create a cumulative burden to households that are already more likely to face higher exposure to both indoor and outdoor air pollution,” the letter said. “Statistics show that Black, Latino, and low-income households are more likely to experience disproportionate air pollution, either from being more likely to be located near a waste incinerator or coal ash site, or living in smaller homes with poor ventilation, malfunctioning appliances, mold, dust mites, secondhand smoke, lead dust, pests, and other maintenance deficiencies.”
The Biden administration has also unveiled plans to electrify some federal buildings by leveraging renewable energy technologies, according to a statement from the Department of Energy. A recent report from the agency acknowledged that the cost of clean electricity is more than four times higher than the cost of natural gas.
The White House is pursuing a “whole-of-government approach to put climate change at the center of our domestic, national security, and foreign policy,” according to a speech delivered by Biden days after his inauguration. The commander-in-chief has advanced incentives for electric vehicles, nixed the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, and leased less federal land for oil drilling than his predecessors.