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OPINION

Keep Government Out of Our Kitchens; The Gas Stove Ban is Heating Up

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

Earlier this month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission launched the formal process for banning gas stoves by approving a Federal Register notice of “the Request for Information (RFI) on chronic hazards associated with gas stoves and proposed solutions to those hazards.” The official notice of the Request for Information makes it clear – despite the CPSC’s denials that it is doing so, the CPSC is coming for your gas stove. 

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The RFI is typically the first step in the process of rulemaking. In this case, the CPSC seeks public input from “all stakeholders such as consumers, manufacturers, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and researchers” about “chronic chemical hazards associated with using gas ranges, and proposed solutions.” 

The RFI “seeks comment on all significant aspects of this issue,” including information “related to the scope and scale of potential chronic chemical hazards, exposures, and risks associated with gas range use,” “data sources and approaches CPSC should consider when completing an evaluation of chronic chemical hazards, exposures, and risks related to gas range use,” and “proposed solutions related to any chronic chemical hazards, exposures, and risks associated with gas range use.”  

Said CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka, Jr. about the announcement of the RFI, “The trust between CPSC and the American consumer exists because actions like the one we take today make clear that we only act in service to consumer safety … This Request for Information furthers our commitment to American consumers because step one in confronting a potential hazard is understanding its scope and the options for addressing it.”  

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Those two sentences contain multiple lies.  

First, the CPSC, most certainly in this case, is not acting “in service to consumer safety.” Instead, it serves a green energy agenda that says fossil fuels must be banned. The agenda begins at the endpoint – banning fossil fuels – and then works backward to figure out a way to ban fossil fuels. That’s where the alleged “chronic chemical hazards associated with using gas ranges” come in. Claiming that there’s a “chronic chemical hazard” (read: health risk) attached to using natural gas stoves – which is very much in dispute – is just a convenient cover for the coercive arm of government power.  

Second, Trumka doesn’t believe natural gas stoves present a “potential” hazard; he thinks they pose a definite risk. He uses the word “potential” to make himself sound reasonable as if he has an open mind on this matter rather than being what he is – an ideologue determined to promote the green energy agenda to which he is committed, no matter what it takes. He shouldn’t be using the word “potential” as an adjective to describe “hazard” because he is using that word deliberately to create the (false) impression that he could conclude, in the end, that natural gas stoves pose no hazard at all. And that’s wrong. He’s not open to that conclusion. On this matter, his mind is most definitely made up. 

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That Trumka considers natural gas stoves a real and dangerous hazard is not in doubt. He considers them not just any hazard, but an even worse kind of hazard, the “hidden” hazard. And even worse than that, natural gas stoves, he believes, are hidden hazards that cannot be made safe. 

In an early January interview with Bloomberg News, he said precisely, "This is a hidden hazard … Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” 

Hidden hazards? That can’t be made safe? Of course, there’s only one thing to do about them – ban them! Get the federal regulators in here, pronto, and forbid them! What in the world are you waiting for?! 

In his interview with Bloomberg News, Trumka said commission action to regulate natural gas stoves could come as soon as this year. Then he trashed gas stoves: “There is this misconception that if you want fine-dining cooking, it has to be done on the gas. It’s a carefully manicured myth.”  

What’s going on at the CPSC is not science in search of better health for Americans. Instead, it’s a political agenda run amok, an agency wrongly using false claims of “science” to manufacture a desired political end that has nothing to do with science. One might even call the whole exercise of using the coercive power of government to ban natural gas stoves a “carefully manicured myth.” 

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 Many of us think the CPSC shouldn’t ban gas stoves. That’s why Tea Party Patriots Action is working with other organizations to push back against the CPSC action on gas stoves. By commenting here, you can add your voice to those of us who think the government should stay out of our kitchens.  

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