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Why gas stove owners should still be worried

OpinionWhy gas stove owners should still be worried

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In response to a strong public backlash, the Biden administration Department of Energy (DOE) has decided to backtrack on its proposed new energy efficiency regulation of stoves that would have forced most gas models off the market.   

Though still worse than no regulation at all, the revised proposal is considerably less stringent than the original and can be met by gas stoves and not just electric ones. 

Nonetheless, the reason for initially targeting gas stoves so aggressively – team Biden’s extreme climate change agenda – has not changed one bit, and there still are ways the administration could go after them: 

President Biden and gas stove burner

The reason for initially targeting gas stoves so aggressively – team Biden’s extreme climate change agenda – has not changed. (Getty Images)

Using other regulatory attacks on gas stoves 

President Obama once said of climate policy that there is “more than one way to skin a cat,”  and that is still true. Notwithstanding DOE, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating the safety of gas stoves, and indeed it was CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. who elevated homeowner concerns last year when he announced that a ban is “a real possibility.” 

DEMOCRAT IN ANOTHER BLUE CITY JOINS PUSH TO BAN GAS STOVES

While it is still too early to know where the CPSC investigation may lead, it is entirely possible that the agency may take up the slack from DOE and crack down on gas stoves. Nor, for that matter, is DOE out of the picture, as there are other ways it could go after gas stoves. 

This includes tightening the agency’s test procedures that each model must pass before it is allowed to be sold. And, of course, the agency could set a much tougher standard the next time around.  

Further, in 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency was petitioned by a coalition of environmental groups to regulate residential gas appliances, including stoves, furnaces and water heaters. The agency has yet to respond to the petition.

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Restricting access to residential natural gas

Needless to say, you can’t use a gas stove if you don’t have a gas hookup in your home or apartment. The state of New York and a number of local governments have introduced bans on natural gas hookups in newly constructed residences.   

The administration supports these and other efforts to wean homeowners off natural gas and in favor of electrifying all home energy use in order to help “achieve climate goals.” This includes federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to put anti-gas provisions into local building codes, as well as money to make federally-subsidized housing electricity only.   

One local natural gas ban from the city of Berkeley, California, was challenged in federal court by a group of restaurant owners. Not surprisingly, the Biden administration weighed in favoring the city and its gas ban. 

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Fortunately, the restaurant owners prevailed. However, ban supporters have vowed to seek other legally-acceptable means of achieving the same crackdown on gas hookups, and they can count on help from the Biden administration.    

Overall, the idea that targeting gas stoves will help save the planet, however nutty, is still Biden administration policy, and there are a lot of ways to for the feds to go about it. It took a powerful public backlash against this nonsense to get some concessions from DOE on its stove efficiency regulation, but the battle to save the blue flame is far from over.

 CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM BEN LIEBERMAN

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