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OPINION

My Kitchen, My Choice: Hands Off Our Gas Stoves

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Keith Srakocic

A member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) proposed a ban on new natural gas stoves under the guise of combating childhood asthma. 

Richard Trumka Jr., son of the late AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, Sr., is behind this asinine proposal. 

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Trumka Jr. alluded to a new gas stove ban to Bloomberg, saying, “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”

He cited a December 2022 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Report claiming gas stoves are responsible for nearly 13% of childhood asthma cases. 

But these findings are suspect at best. Several listed coauthors are affiliated with groups pushing net-zero and decarbonization. Talor Gruenwald is a research associate with Rewiring America, a self-described “leading electrification nonprofit, focused on electrifying our homes, businesses, and communities.” Another listed author is Brady A. Seals, manager of the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Carbon-Free Buildings program (a backer of the study). Seals isn’t a scientist or health professional. Her RMI department advocates constructing zero-carbon buildings, retrofitting 5% of buildings each year, and ensuring “electric and efficient appliances.” 

This, however, isn’t stopping climate alarmists from parroting these findings and accusing Republicans of “thrusting” gas stoves into the culture war.

The American Gas Association (AGA) rebuked the study, noting, “A December 2022 report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health linking natural gas cooking with asthma is not substantiated by sound science. Any discussion or perpetuation of the allegations in this report which is funded by non-governmental organizations to advance their agenda to remove consumer energy choice and the option of natural gas is reckless.”

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The AGA continued, “The authors conducted no measurements or tests based on real-life appliance usage, and ignored literature, including one study of data collected from more than 500,000 children in 47 countries that “detected no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis. Any allegation that gas stoves exceed standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization is patently false. Regulators, like the Consumer Products Safety Commission, should rely on real data and science not unsubstantiated claims of advocates. 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.”

Trumka’s comments immediately drew ire from lawmakers —including Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). Manchin is chair of the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 

“This 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 tweeted. “If this is the greatest concern that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has for American consumers, I think we need to reevaluate the commission.” Ouch. 

In response to backlash, Trumka then insisted the phase-out would be voluntary. 

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“To be clear, CPSC isn't coming for anyone's gas stoves. Regulations apply to new products,” he said. “For Americans who CHOOSE to switch from gas to electric, there is support available - Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act which includes a $840 rebate.” 

His boss, Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric, swooped in to do damage control saying his agency wouldn’t ban gas stoves after all.

Let’s be clear: This isn’t about combating childhood asthma; this is about forcing electrification on all Americans - like with electric vehicles – to achieve net-zero under a whole of government approach. And they are enticing gullible consumers to ditch their gas stoves with a $840 rebate offered by the sham “Inflation Reduction Act.”

The crusade to ban natural gas stoves is foolish. 187 million Americans depend on this fuel daily. 40 million U.S. households currently use natural gas stoves. In the most available data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), natural gas accounted for 38.4% of utility scale electricity generation. Since 1990, methane emissions have dropped precipitously (69%) thanks to natural gas use. 

Natural gas stoves are also a preferred choice for professional chefs—a whopping 90% of them. One chef speaking out is frequent Fox News guest Andrew Gruel, the restaurant proprietor behind concepts like Slapfish, Big Pharm, Two Birds, and the forthcoming Calico Fish House in Huntington Beach, CA.

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“I genuinely think we have completely lost our minds," Chef Andrew Gruel said on Fox Business. "So the idea now is, is that if we want an end - and the end is obviously get rid of gas stoves, get rid of fossil fuels, everything has to be electric, renewable now - they're going to create as many stories as they can and then try and piece together statistics that really have no connection to at least get the headline that everybody can glom onto."

He jested, "I will be trapping myself within my stove and protesting until this gets out of the minds of the collective.” 

Despite natural gas’s benefits and multiple uses, major Democrat-run cities insist on banning natural gas stoves to combat climate change. And in many areas, they’ve already implemented this misguided policy.

Americans, however, are seeing through this alarmism and won’t willingly abandon their modern appliances for inefficient ones. 

Let our battle cry be this: My Kitchen, My Choice! Hands off our gas stoves.

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