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Tipsheet

The Left's Creepy, Out-of-Nowhere Crusade Against Gas Stoves

Keith Srakocic

Wait, what now?  That was my first reaction when someone asked my thoughts on some business about the federal government looking to ban gas stoves.  I hadn't heard about it yet.  A quick internet search revealed that a Biden administration official recently hinted that a federal ban on gas stoves could be in the works, due to the supposed dangers the appliances pose.  Or something.  The editors of the Wall Street Journal explain the ridiculous flare-up:

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) could soon ban gas stoves. CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. teased in an interview with Bloomberg News this week that the agency plans to propose new regulations for gas stoves, which could include a ban. “This is a hidden hazard,” Mr. Trumka said. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” Mr. Trumka isn’t worried that gas stoves might cause accidental burns—a hidden hazard for electric range-tops that stay hot long after they’re turned off. Instead, the agency’s purported concern is that gas stoves cause indoor air pollution and asthma, though there’s scant evidence to support such claims. Even the Environmental Protection Agency says “gas stoves (and gas fireplace inserts) do not require EPA certification. Whether designed to burn natural gas or propane, they burn very cleanly, emitting very little pollution.”

Studies flogged by the climate left don’t account for the effects of ventilation. One even sealed a test kitchen in plastic tarps in an effort to show that gas stoves increase pollution. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, the most comprehensive global study to date, found “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.” The real hazard isn’t gas stoves but how people use them. Not that this distinction matters to the CPSC, which has a long history of targeting products such as window blindsIKEA dressers, and Peloton treadmills because of accidents that are the fault of customers. In this case, Mr. Trumka wants to use indoor pollution as a pretext to advance the climate left’s goal of forcing all buildings to use electricity for everything.

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Mr. Trumka, the son of the late union boss, followed-up by trying to assure Americans that the government wasn't planning to confiscate their existing kitchen equipment: “To be clear, CPSC isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves,” Trumka said. “Regulations apply to new products.”  This corresponding quip was inevitable:

What is truly head-spinning is the rapidity with which lefties rallied around the new regulation, which is based on little-to-no actual science, calmly cooing that only future kitchen devices would be impacted by their latest capricious power-grab.  It seemed to go from something nobody had ever heard of, to enforceable dogma, literally overnight.  Exactly this:

Incidentally, guess who has a gas stove -- which we all know "leads to reduced cognitive performance"?  But of course she does:

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Spectacular.  Zooming out a bit, Noah Rothman hits the nail on the head with this piece, 'the attack on things that work:'

Some of the bluest states in the nation have committed themselves to war with the most efficient appliances in your home: natural gas-powered heaters, furnaces, and stoves. In September, California announced a new rule passed unanimously by the thoroughly undemocratic California Air Resources Board (CARB).  It will outlaw the sale of natural-gas heaters at the beginning of the next decade. New York’s newly reelected Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed a similar initiative this month, which would ensure that the Empire State constructs only “climate-friendly electric homes” by 2027. The first step on the long march involves a ban on the use of oil or gas for residential water heaters, furnaces, and stoves. Now, the federal government is getting in on the act...All this psychological manipulation is necessary to overcome the foremost obstacle before the busybodies who have gone to war with so many modern conveniences: They work better than their alternatives...The loss of [cooking] techniques may not disturb those for whom fine dining is one restaurant reservation away—those with sufficient means who reside in locales with access to that level of finery. That leads us to perhaps the most important distinction between electric and gas overlooked by America’s busybodies: gas is cheaper. In most U.S. states, natural-gas appliances cost between 10 and 30 percent less to operate on a regular basis than electric alternatives.

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This is another ideological project cooked up by bored elitists who wake up each morning with a zeal to control people's lives in new ways -- all for the ingrates' own good, of course. That it looks to be rooted in flimsy "science" and would make people's lives appreciably worse and more expensive is an afterthought. It's the cost of doing business to these people, when the 'business' is wielding authority over others. Business is booming.  Perhaps Team Biden will back off of this intrusion for now (they're already back-pedaling), but even if they do, you can bet blue states run by left-wing scolds will take up this torch.  Conservatives hate it, after all, and negative partisanship is one of the strongest driving forces in politics today.  As highlighted above, AOC leapt instantly from total silence on this matter to passionate, if jaded, support.  Good luck, New York.  But my money would be on California, which most aggressively sprints for the cliff.  Sure enough, here's a prominent Sacramento lawmaker (who famously and successfully pushed to lower state-imposed criminal penalties for knowingly exposing people to HIV without their knowledge or consent, which is no longer a felony, thanks to his 'leadership' for 'progress') rushing to embrace the latest Truth, at warp speed:

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Ah yes, it's for the children, of course.  I'll leave you with more from Cooke, who brings data to the table, not that the busybodies care:


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