Gas Stoves Protected In Not One, But Two Bipartisan House Votes
There is a new development in the gas stove ban saga. Two bills protecting gas stoves from federal bans recently passed through the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support as twenty-nine Democrats voted in favor of both Republican-sponsored pieces of legislation – H.R.1615, the “Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act” and H.R. 1640, “Save Our Gas Stoves Act”.
While it is unclear whether the two bills will make it through the Democratically-led Senate, a near identical and bipartisan bill was introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – S 240, the “Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act”.
The gas stove ban supported by the Biden administration has put into question the importance of securing affordable and safe energy for consumers in the United States. Yet, the bipartisan and bicameral support of bills defending homeowners’ rights to their preferred choice of energy, including natural gas, shows that not everybody is convinced by the DOE and CPSC repeatedly trying to walk back their stated intention to ban gas stoves.
H.R. 1615 would bar the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal funds to “regulate gas stoves as a banned hazardous product”. It also prevents the enforcement of a rule “that would otherwise result in a prohibition on the use or sale of gas stoves in the United States or would otherwise substantially increase the average price of gas stoves in the United States.”
The House also adopted an amendment from Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) expanding the CPSC prohibition to restrict commission bans on any appliance based on its fuel type.
CPSC Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric dismissed H.R.1615 as frivolous in a statement to CNN, saying:
“This bill is unnecessary – the CPSC is not banning gas stoves.”
In a parallel fashion, H.R. 1640 prohibits the Secretary of Energy from “finalizing, implementing, or enforcing” a rule proposed in February this year aimed at governing efficiency requirements for both gas and electric cooking appliances.
Energy In Depth previously noted how the Department of Energy’s proposed regulation would remove 50-96 percent of natural gas stoves from the market, and is a clear violation of energy efficiency standards set by the Energy Policy & Conservation Act (EPCA), which does not take an “efficiency at all cost” approach.
The Continued Focus on Your Appliance
Biden administration officials have tried to publicly walk back their statements while supporting continued electrification policies. In January, the Biden administration stated it did not support banning gas stoves, but later that month, DOE Secretary Granholm telegraphed the DOE’s use of policies to further the electrification of everything, going so far as citing flawed studies on indoor air quality designed to frighten homeowners into electrifying.
And on June 12, two days before HR 1640 and HR 1615 were passed, the administration urged a federal court to reverse its April decision that struck down Berkeley, California’s municipal gas ban. As Politico reports:
“Biden backs Berkeley gas ban in court fight.” (emphasis added)
The administration’s desire to pursue electrification policies has been clear since July 2021 when Secretary Granholm said at the DOE National Energy Codes Conference:
“We need state and local officials to step up. You are the only ones who can adopt and implement smart and ambitious building codes.”
The policy has since been carried through the Building Innovation Panel at the White House’s December 14 Electrification Summit meant to showcase and accelerate electrification of American homes and businesses.
Sponsor of the HR 1615, Rep Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), said on the floor:
“We all agree that consumer product and safety is important, yet it is apparent that the underlying motivation behind this veiled consumer safety play is a green climate agenda with the goal of further restricting natural gas. This bill is about ensuring that Americans have continued access to the entire product category of gas stoves…. The commission can still do its function, but it has to stay in its lane.”
Bottomline: HR 1615 and HR 1640 are a response to the Biden administration’s steady march towards greater electrification through policies, actions, and statements that limit consumers’ energy options. Their passage shows significant bipartisan alignment and a clear commitment to the value of natural gas in providing residents with cost-efficient energy options.