Democrats accuse GOP of stoking culture wars with bills limiting gas stove rules

Jennifer Granholm
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm looks at a charging station from blink during a visit to the Washington Auto Show in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik/AP

Democrats accuse GOP of stoking culture wars with bills limiting gas stove rules

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House Democrats accused the GOP of unnecessarily stoking culture wars on Monday as the Rules Committee advanced two bills to crimp the Biden administration’s attempts to regulate natural gas cooktops more strictly in hopes of cutting pollution.

The bills, which will next head to the House floor for a full vote, represent a defining issue for Republicans during this Congress as they take on the Biden administration’s regulatory and climate change agenda. Both were drawn up in response to actions by two key federal agencies proposing to regulate gas stoves more heavily for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting pollution indoors.

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Republicans seized on the regulations to argue the Biden administration is pushing an aggressive regulatory agenda that limits consumer options and would result in higher prices, while congressional Democrats claimed the GOP was overhyping the notion that President Joe Biden wants to take consumers’ stoves away.

“The government is not coming for anybody’s gas stoves. It’s a pervasive falsehood that’s been repeated for months to stoke grievances without any truth to back up these claims,” Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) said during Monday’s hearing.

The Department of Energy proposed a rule that would impose stricter energy conservation standards for new household gas and electric cooking devices, which DOE said would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save consumers money.

Scanlon noted that half of gas stoves already meet DOE’s proposed standard.

Meanwhile, Republican opponents of the proposed rule have noted that half of gas stoves do not meet the proposed standard, according to DOE, and could therefore be taken off the market.

“It’s really hard to believe that we’re here to talk about the federal government banning an appliance such as a gas stove,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said Monday.

DOE introduced its proposed rule in February after Richard Trumka Jr., a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said the commission would consider banning gas stoves due to the risks of indoor air pollution if the products could not be made safe. The commission has yet to consider such a ban.

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One of the gas stove measures advanced Monday, Rep. Debbie Lesko’s (R-AZ) Save Our Gas Stoves Act, would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to say that an energy conservation standard for kitchen ranges or ovens “cannot be ‘economically justified’ if it likely will result in the unavailability in the United States of a type (or class) of product based on what type of fuel the product consumes,” according to a bill summary.

The Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, introduced by Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), would prohibit the CPSC from using federal funds to regulate gas stoves as a banned hazardous product or enforce a product safety standard that prohibits the use or sale of gas stoves or substantially increases their price.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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