Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) proposed legislation on Wednesday barring the federal government from banning stoves powered by natural gas.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr remarked in a Monday interview with Bloomberg that gas stoves present a “hidden hazard” and said “any option is on the table” for banning the appliances. Huizenga introduced the Stop Trying to Obsessively Vilify Energy Act, also known as the STOVE Act, in reaction to the comments.
“The last thing Americans need or want is another big government bureaucratic decision telling us which appliance we can have in our home,” Huizenga said in a press release. “The STOVE Act is a common-sense measure that will stop bureaucrats from banning gas stoves or ranges. Americans should have the ability to choose the most affordable and most available way to cook food in their own home. It is absolutely ridiculous how out of control and out of touch the nanny state in Washington has become.”
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.
The legislation says no federal agency “may propose, implement, or finalize a rule or guidance that restricts or bans the use and purchase of gas-powered stoves, cooktops, ranges, or ovens” in the United States. Introduction of the bill follows a statement from CPSC Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric clarifying that neither he nor the agency is planning to ban gas stoves after the comments from Trumka, an appointee of President Joe Biden and the son of former AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, garnered nationwide controversy.
Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) also supported the STOVE Act, asserting that a potential ban on gas stoves is an “attempt to advance the Green New Deal” at the expense of rural communities who “rely heavily on gas powered stoves and heaters.”
The recent regulatory attention toward the appliances follows a letter from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and other lawmakers voicing concern over the “risks posed to consumers” by gas stoves and claiming that side effects could be heightened depending upon one’s racial identity. “Statistics show that Black, Latino, and low-income households are more likely to experience disproportionate air pollution,” the letter contended, “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.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) noted more recently that “ongoing exposure” from the nitrogen oxide produced by gas stoves is “linked to reduced cognitive performance.” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), on the other hand, said the government “has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner” and suggested that lawmakers should “reevaluate” the CPSC.
The American Gas Association claimed in a statement that the CPSC did not consider scientific literature on the dangers of gas stoves when floating the ban. “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 trade association said.