By: The Editorial Board – wsj.com – January 13, 2022
A Biden appointee on the Consumer Product Safety Commission explicitly threatened to ban gas stoves based on dubious evidence of public-health harm. “This is a hidden hazard,” said commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
We and others criticized the idea, and the media response was to rush to blame conservatives for starting it all. “Right’s new fight: Gas stoves,” said Axios, which pushes hard for the climate alarmist agenda. The Washington Post assured its readers that “regulators have no plans to ban gas stoves, but Republicans are slamming the Consumer Product Safety Commission for announcing it will examine the health impacts of the appliances.”
But we didn’t make up Mr. Trumka’s quote. We and others responded to it. After withering public criticism, including by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, the CPSC Chairman denied any plan to ban, and the White House said President Biden also doesn’t want to ban gas stoves. But that’s cold comfort given that the climate left does want to ban them, and progressive cities and states are doing it.
Progressive cities such as Berkeley, San Francisco and New York City have already banned gas stoves and other appliances in new buildings. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul this week proposed a ban on gas equipment including stoves in new small buildings in 2025 and larger ones in 2028.
Come 2030, New Yorkers won’t be allowed to replace their gas stoves with new ones if they break down. “As you begin making a transition, everyone will have to switch out appliances,” a state official explained. This is how the left’s green-energy “transition” will work for all things. Come 2035, New Yorkers and Californians won’t be able to buy new gasoline-powered cars either.
The Biden Administration is also aiding and abetting the anti-gas stove cause. Last year it filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals supporting a gas ban by Berkeley, Calif. The departments of Justice and Energy argued that cities and states should be able to exercise police powers to prohibit the use of “dangerous or unsafe items.” Why would the federal government weigh in on a local regulatory case, if not for ideological climate solidarity?
Progressives claim that gas stoves produce pollutants that are harmful to human health. But pollution comes from cooking with poor ventilation, not from natural gas. Electric range-tops have the “hidden hazard” of potential burns, to borrow Mr. Trumka’s words.
By the way, last week Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm retweeted a link to a study linking gas stoves to asthma: “We can and must FIX this,” she tweeted. “Through @POTUS’ Inflation Reduction Act, Americans will have greater access to Electric and Induction Cooktops.” The Inflation Reduction Act includes $840 rebates for electric stoves.
There really is a culture war coming over gas stoves, and everything else involving fossil fuels, because climate has become for the left a matter of core cultural identity. Progressives want to impose their values on the lifestyle of everyone else, including in the kitchen. If subsidies don’t work, coercion follows. When they can’t win the political debate, they resort to brute government force. They really are coming for your stove.
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