Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced legislation last week that would prevent the federal government from banning gas-powered stoves.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. provoked criticism last month after he said during an interview that gas stoves are a “hidden hazard” and said “any option is on the table” for a nationwide prohibition. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric later posted a statement amid the backlash saying that the agency has no plans to outlaw gas stoves, but the Energy Department later proposed rules that would allow regulators to introduce energy consumption standards for the appliances.
The Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act proposed by the two lawmakers disallows the Consumer Product Safety Commission from banning the use or sale of gas stoves, as well as taking action that would “substantially increase the average price of gas stoves in the United States.” The legislation does not mention possible moves from the Energy Department.
“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 press release. “I can tell you the last thing that would ever leave our house is the gas stove we cook on, and I will continue to fight any overreach by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
The Daily Wire reached out to Cruz and Manchin to ask whether the bill would be amended to prevent the Energy Department and other agencies from banning or further regulating the appliances; this article will be updated with any response.
Some 38% of 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. Many prefer the appliances over electric alternatives because of better heat control and more versatility for grilling and searing food.
“Make no mistake, radical environmentalists want to stop Americans from using natural gas. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s proposed ban on gas stoves is the latest egregious scaremongering by the Far Left and their Biden administration allies,” Cruz added in the press release. “I am pleased to partner with Senator Manchin in this bipartisan effort to stop the federal government from issuing regulations that put the interests of the Green New Deal before the well-being of American families.”
Even as the Consumer Product Safety Commission reverses course on regulating gas stoves, the new rules from the Energy Department would subject the hardware to a new “maximum integrated annual energy consumption” standard under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The rules, for which the Energy Department will accept public comment until April 3, would constitute a shift from previous regulations that prohibited constant burning pilot lights in gas stoves but placed no limits on energy consumption. Conventional ovens would likewise not be allowed to have a control system that uses a linear power supply.
The Energy Department repeatedly cited the “important and robust” climate benefits that would emerge from increased regulation on gas stoves and contended that “the proposed standards represent the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in the significant conservation of energy.” The regulatory attention toward the appliances follows a letter from Democratic lawmakers last year expressing concern over “risks posed to consumers” by gas stoves.