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Bill to protect gas stoves introduced in Congress

by JOEL MARTIN & R. HANS MILLER
Staff Writer | June 7, 2023 1:29 PM

OLYMPIA — A bill introduced Monday would protect gas stoves from proposed federal limitations, according to an announcement from Rep. Dan Newhouse, R – Washington.

In February, the U.S. Department of Energy proposed an “energy efficiency standard” for gas cooking products. This would be the first energy performance standard imposed on residential cooktops, the announcement said.

“Gas appliances are at the center of many American households – they power our stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and fireplaces. Nearly 187 million American use natural gas because it is affordable, reliable, and safe. The proposed rule proposed by the Biden Administration would have detrimental effects on American households, restaurants, and communities across Central Washington and the nation,” Newhouse wrote in the announcement. “I am proud to introduce this legislation to stop the draconian rule proposed by the Biden Administration and protect Americans’ wallets, time, jobs, and freedom. It's time for the government to stop over-regulating our lives and focus on solutions that will truly benefit the American people and our energy future. And that starts with them getting their hands off our stoves.”

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, however, has stood firm that the agency is not looking to ban gas stoves, and President Joe Biden has said he would not support a ban on gas appliances. Instead, the agency is concerned with making new stoves that utilize natural gas safer. On March 1, the agency said it would examine the products being used and research health hazards of gas stove emissions such as childhood asthma alongside with potential solutions to such hazards. A procedural request for information seeking public input on health risks associated with gas stoves does not constitute a desire for a ban, CPSC staff have said.

"As I have said before, this RFI does not constitute or propose any regulatory action or ban," said CPSC Chair Hoehn-Saric in a press release. "The chronic hazards that can arise from toxic emissions should be studied and that is what we are doing with this (request for information). I welcome the public's input and data during the comment period."

The press release added that no regulatory action is planned regarding gas stoves at this time and any such action would require a vote by the full governing board of the CPSC.

Given the benefits of natural gas, lobbyists and trade organizations have indicated they would oppose any such ban.

“Natural gas has been one of the principal drivers to achieving our nation’s environmental and economic goals. From providing affordable energy to consumers to driving down emissions, the benefits this fuel has for our nation are tangible and impossible to ignore,” Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the American Gas Association, wrote in the announcement.

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