House passes legislation to block Biden administration gas stove regulations

Debbie Lesko, Steve Scalise, Elise Stefanik
Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is joined from left by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., as she talks about her bill, the Save Our Gas Stoves Act, to prohibit the U.S. Department of Energy from implementing environmental regulations on gas cooking appliances, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 6, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House passes legislation to block Biden administration gas stove regulations

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The House of Representatives passed Republican legislation to hamstring the federal government’s ability to regulate natural gas stoves more stringently, which supporters said was necessary to preserve the choices of consumers and protect them from government overreach.

Passage of the bills advances what quickly became a priority of Republicans in the new Congress after the Department of Energy proposed new regulations to mandate better energy efficiency among new gas stove models, which the DOE said would reduce air pollution and save consumers money.

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Before the DOE proposed its rules, Richard Trumka Jr., a member of the independent Consumer Products Safety Commission, floated the possibility of banning gas stoves due to indoor air pollution.

Many Republicans, as well as centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and fossil fuel interests, complained at the notion of regulating residential stoves and said President Joe Biden was overreaching in implementing his climate change agenda.

House lawmakers passed two separate bills. The bill passed Wednesday, which more than two dozen Democrats voted for, 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), passed Tuesday evening. It 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.

House Democrats accused GOP lawmakers of misrepresenting the regulatory proposals and said their colleagues were unnecessarily stoking culture wars to protect the fossil fuel industry. They also took issue with the idea of blocking the government, including a consumer watchdog in the CPSC, from taking measures it deems necessary to protect people.

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Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) said the Republican legislation “threatens the government’s ability to identify and regulate unsafe, stoves, including those with design defects that could cause injury or death to American consumers.”

The gas stove legislation did not come without considerable drama. Leadership sought to pass the two bills on June 6, but the legislation failed to advance past a procedural hurdle after a dozen Republicans voted against continuing debate in an act of defiance toward House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) performed in retaliation for the debt ceiling deal he struck with Biden.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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