GOP House Members Introduce New Legislation to Protect Gas Stoves

House Republicans introduced new legislation that was directed at blocking the federal government from regulating or banning the use of gas stoves in households across the U.S., according to copies of the bills.

Arizona GOP Representative Debbi Lesko introduced HR 1640, also called the Save Our Gas Stoves Act, which would ban the Department of Energy (DOE) from enforcing, implementing, or finalizing its “Energy Policy and Conservation Program,” and the rulemaking which was introduced last month. The rules introduced last month would allow the DOE to set new conservation and energy efficiency standards for conventional consumer cooking practices, including gas stoves.

In a memo last month, the DOE said that, at minimum, at least half of the stove models in the United States would not be eligible for repurchase in stores if the conservation rules were implemented today.
In a statement on Monday, Lesko said the agency’s rules represent “another example of out-of-touch bureaucrats trying to control Americans’ everyday lives.”

In the meantime, GOP Representative Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota introduced HR 1615, also known as the ‘Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act,’ which would block the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from using federal funds to work on banning gas stoves.

The CPSC would also be banned from enforcing any safety rule or standard that would “otherwise substantially increase the average price of gas stoves in the United States,” according to the text of the legislation.

“Our bill makes it clear that Americans should decide if a gas stove is right for their families, not the federal government,” said Armstrong of his new bill.

On Monday, Washington Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who serves as House Energy and Commerce Chairwoman, applauded the pair of new House bills.

“Forcing people to switch to expensive alternatives will only further increase costs on hardworking families and disproportionately harm the most vulnerable communities,” said Rodgers in a statement.
“Natural gas is a safe, reliable, and affordable energy source for millions of Americans,” added Rodgers.

The two new bills in the House came on the heels of bipartisan legislation introduced last month in the Senate. The Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, co-sponsored by Senators Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, and Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, would keep the CPSC from utilizing federal funds to ban any existing or new gas stoves.

It remains to be seen if any of the bills would make it through the Democratic-led Senate.

Commissioner set off a firestorm when he indicated the commission would consider a ban

Richard Trumka Jr., CPSC Commissioner, lit a political firestorm earlier in the year when he said in a January interview in Bloomberg that the commission would consider banning natural gas stoves. He explained that the popular household appliance was a “hidden hazard” and that “any option is on the table” to control them.

The backlash from Trumka’s remarks was so fiery that both the CPSC chairman and the White House issued statements denying that a complete ban was in the works.

However, some form of regulatory action could be upcoming. The CPSC voted earlier this month by a 3-1 to issue a request for information (RFI) and sought public input on the perceived dangers of gas stoves and the possible solutions to those dangers.

Although the RFI will not trigger any regulatory actions alone or implement a ban on gas stoves, it could be the first step for the agency in implementing specific safety standards or other rules that govern the use of the popular appliances, according to CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric.

Gas stoves are favored by many cooks and are used in around 40% of homes in the United States. However, according to climate activists, they have been found to emit air pollutants like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other particulate matter at levels deemed unsafe by the World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency.

Although the federal government’s ban on gas stoves is considered unlikely, restrictions have been adopted widely at the local and state levels. Almost 100 counties and cities in the U.S., mostly in blue regions, have already begun phasing them out in new construction or adopted policies restricting their use. At least 20 states have advanced or introduced similar moves.