US House of Representatives Vote to Protect … Gas Stoves
It looks like House Republicans have won the war to protect gas stoves from the Department of Energy (DOE).
In a 251-181 vote, the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed an amendment to a larger energy bill that would prevent the DOE from implementing efficiency standards on gas stoves. 29 Democrats supported the measure.
The use of gas stoves was a hot topic in the House this year. Reports from groups such as the Institute for Policy Integrity and the American Chemical Society found that natural gas stoves, which are used in 40% of households in the US, emit air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter at levels the EPA and World Health Organization have said are unsafe and linked to respiratory illness, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and other health conditions. Gas stoves are used in about 40% of homes in the United States.
The issue heated up further and crossed the culture war line at the House when the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was rumored to be exploring a ban on gas stoves after commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. suggested it in an interview.
“This is a hidden hazard,” Trumka said. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
But the CPSC later clarified and said that a ban was not on the table.
“Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards,” Hoehn-Saric said in a statement. “But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”
The DOE instead proposed strict rules and efficiency requirements on the use of gas stoves. Experts estimate that this would have barred the use of 50% of gas stoves available in the market. It would also make using the traditional cooktop more expensive.
The amendment, which was authored by Alabama Republican Representative Gary Palmer, will still need to get Senate approval and will be subject to a possible veto from President Joe Biden.
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