‘Higher electric bills’: Lawmakers warn of consequences surrounding potential gas stove ban
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are expressing their frustration after it was reported that the Biden administration could consider a ban on gas stoves, with some warning that the move could result in Americans ‘paying higher electric bills.’
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is weighing action on gas stoves as concerns about indoor air pollutants from the appliances rise. According to Bloomberg, the agency plans to act on the appliances because the pollutants can cause respiratory and health issues.
‘This is a hidden hazard,’ CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg. ‘Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.’
Trumka Jr. later clarified his comments in a tweet, saying that any regulation would apply to new products.
The agency’s deliberation on whether to ban gas stoves — which CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric said he is not currently looking to do — has garnered immense criticism from Americans and many have criticized the agency’s hypocrisy after a resurfaced photo of first lady Jill Biden cooking with a gas stove went viral.
House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who represents Washington’s 5th Congressional District and is the first woman to head the committee since its creation in 1795, told Fox News Digital that the reported efforts to ban gas stoves is ‘the latest in a long line of power grabs by the radical left and Biden administration.’
‘It is not about public safety. It is about telling the American people the federal government knows best and will decide what kind of car they can drive, how they can heat their house, and now how they’re allowed to cook food for their families,’ Rodgers said. ‘Natural gas is critical for millions of Americans. Forcing people to switch to expensive alternatives will only further increase costs on hardworking American families while disproportionately harming the most vulnerable in our communities.’
‘Energy and Commerce Republicans will hold President Biden accountable for his war on American energy and bring down energy costs,’ she added.
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican representing Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District, told Fox that the reported consideration to ban gas stoves is ‘another far-left policy with zero regard for the people it affects.’
‘Gas stoves are an affordable option that are used by close to 40% of households in Missouri and across America,’ said Luetkemeyer, who has served as a ranking member on the House Small Business Committee. ‘The fact that the administration is more focused on controlling how Americans cook their food rather than whether people can actually afford it proves yet again how out of touch the president and the activists working for him really are.’
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also blasted the reported move in a statement on Tuesday, saying it is ‘a recipe for disaster.’
‘The federal government has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner. I can tell you the last thing that would ever leave my house is the gas stove that we cook on,’ Manchin said. ‘If this is the greatest concern that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has for American consumers, I think we need to reevaluate the commission.’
Other House Republicans — including Reps. Daniel Meuser of Pennsylvania, Jim Banks of Indiana and Claudia Tenney of New York — expressed distaste with potential move.
Meuser told Fox that the move could result in ‘Americans paying higher electric bills and strain our electric grid even further.’
‘The Biden administration’s government overreach has now found its way into Americans’ kitchens with this announcement to potentially ban gas stoves by an obscure federal agency, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,’ Meuser said. ‘More than a third of Americans use natural gas stoves in their homes. Banning the use of these appliances in Americans’ homes is just the continuation of the Biden administration’s unfounded attacks on American energy.’
‘This decision could lead to Americans paying higher electric bills and strain our electric grid even further,’ Meuser added. ‘As the representative of one of the highest natural gas producing regions in the country, I am once again dismayed by these proposals. Natural gas is among the cleanest, safest, most affordable and abundant form of energy in the United States. Discouraging its use by banning gas stoves is a perplexing and misguided policy.’
Similarly, Banks suggested that gas stoves are safer than electric stoves and said banning gas stoves is a part of the ‘Left’s radical green agenda’ and has to do with ‘control, not science.’
Tenney, who has also served as a member of the House Small Business Committee, said the reported move ‘once again proves the Left is only concerned with controlling the lives of others, not with improving the quality of life of Americans.’
‘Gas stoves are used in over 40 million homes across the country, and this recent attempt by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Kathy Hochul to force businesses and families to use electric stoves is just another battle in Democrats’ war on reliable and affordable energy options,’ Tenney said. ‘Consumers should be able to choose how they cook their food, heat their homes and power their cars, and they should be able to do it affordably.’
Noting that the idea to ban gas stoves is ‘unrealistic,’ GOP Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas told Fox that the reported move is ‘a classic example of junk science.’
‘Gas is a very efficient way of cooking and heating homes, and Americans have been using these stoves for decades with no major complications,’ Burgess said. ‘Gas stoves are affordable, practical and popular. Democrats are simply grasping at straws to push their Green New Deal agenda. Americans who are already suffering under record-high inflation can already barely afford to heat their homes this winter, and now the Biden administration wants them to go out and buy a new stove. It’s out of touch and unrealistic.’
Offering a more relaxed perspective on the issue, GOP Rep. Scott Fitzgerald of Wisconsin told Fox, ‘Everyone knows that chocolate chip cookies baked in a gas oven are better than those made in an electric oven. I’m totally opposed, and this whole thing is ridiculous.’
Downplaying Trumka Jr.’s remarks in a statement Wednesday, Hoehn-Saric addressed the ‘attention paid to gas stove emissions’ and the agency in recent days.
‘Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards. But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,’ Hoehn-Saric said.
‘CPSC is researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address any health risks,’ he added. ‘CPSC also is actively engaged in strengthening voluntary safety standards for gas stoves. This spring, we will be asking the public to provide us with information about gas stove emissions and potential solutions for reducing any associated risks. This is part of our product safety mission — learning about hazards and working to make products safer.’
A White House official told Fox News on Wednesday that it does not support a ban on gas stoves.
The American Gas Association (AGA), in a statement released Tuesday, 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.’
‘Any efforts to ban highly efficient natural gas stoves should raise alarm bells for the 187 million Americans who depend on this essential fuel every day,’ the AGA added. ‘Natural gas utilities have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 69% since 1990, and help homeowners reduce their carbon emissions 1.2% every year.’
Fox Business’ Greg Wehner and Hillary Vaughn contributed to this article.