Analysis: Multnomah County Gas Stove Report Based on Flimsy Arguments, Flawed Research & Lack of Transparency
Today, Energy in Depth is releasing a new analysis of an Oregon county health report released in November that claimed gas stoves are a “health hazard” and recommended residents replace the popular cooking appliances with electric stoves.
But after a detailed citation by citation breakdown, EID’s analysis shows that the factual basis of Multnomah County, Ore.’s report is flimsy, lacking, and is not nearly as robust as would be expected for a governmental mandate that will severely restrict consumer choices for nearly one million Oregon residents. The report itself conducts no new research and analyzes only a handful of questionable studies.
This report is the first from a government agency to use health claims to justify restricting natural gas stoves, a staple of millions of American homes and an appliance that a recent Morning Consult poll found is still the favored choice when compared with electric.
The county indicates its report “summarizes some of the most recent health evidence on gas stoves and their impact on health, reviews case studies of policy action, and offers public health recommendations.” But the report relies on questionable studies – several of which Energy In Depth has reviewed previously – while ignoring a myriad of other factors that determine indoor air quality, such as road vehicle emissions, air rate exchange, climate, weather conditions, and occupant behavior while neglecting to examiner proper ventilation, a key component in examining indoor air quality. As a result, the conclusions of the report raise questions as to the transparency and reliability of Multnomah County’s data.
As EID noted last month, this report, which is essentially a literature review, is part of a broader national strategy driven by “Keep It In the Ground” groups that has resulted in cities and counties across Oregon aiming to ban consumer access to natural gas with seemingly little efforts to educate the public. It is also unclear how much support these extreme measures have among Oregon residents. Further, it appears the report was conducted without consultation from local businesses or industry, including county residents experienced in installing residential and industrial ventilation.
EID’s analysis shows that the factual basis of the report is flimsy, lacking, and is not nearly as robust as would be expected for a governmental mandate that will severely restrict consumer choices for nearly one million Oregon residents.
Read the full analysis on EIDHealth.org.