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February 7, 2023

Gas Stove Ban, the Sequel

Biden’s Energy Department proposes a new regulation on gas stoves that would effectively ban almost all current stoves on the market.

Yes, they are coming for your gas stove, even if it is through the back door.

Following the public outcry that arose after the Biden administration “floated” and sort of walked back the idea of banning the gas stove, many Leftmedia talkingheads went to town blasting Republicans and conservatives, accusing them of crying wolf.

For example, MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan labeled it “the imaginary ban on gas stoves they’re all getting mad about over on Fox.” Over a graphic that asserted “GOP distracts from unpopular agenda with culture wars,” Hasan’s colleague, Ayman Mohyeldin, claimed that Republicans refuse “to have gas stoves pried out of their cold, dead hands — equating it with God and country and what have you.” The Washington Post, evidently reading off the same memo, ran the headline: “GOP thrusts gas stoves, Biden’s green agenda into the culture wars.”

To hear the media tell it, the outcry over banning gas stoves was much ado about nothing, a distraction. Americans were told there never really was any plan to ban the future production of gas stoves. No, all this hysteria was simply cooked up by Republicans to cover for their own political failures.

Richard Trumka Jr., head of the Biden administration’s Consumer Product Safety Commission, fell on his face attempting to deflect the criticism and instead added fuel to the controversy. That’s when CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric stepped in: “Over the past several days, there has been a lot of attention paid to gas stove emissions and to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. To be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”

Ah, at least Hoehn-Saric has no plan to pass a gas ban, though that clearly doesn’t preclude the rest of the administration from still seeking to do so. The trouble for the Biden administration is that for several years, dating back to 2019, several Democrat-run cities have in fact enacted bans on natural gas in new home construction. These cities include Berkeley, Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle. Of course, the banning of natural gas to homes would also effectively be a ban on gas appliances like stoves. Indeed, New York Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing for a statewide ban on gas stoves in new homes by 2025.

But that’s not the Biden administration, they say. True, but here’s what the Biden administration is doing. Last week, the Energy Department proposed new regulations on … wait for it … gas stoves. Under the guise of making gas stoves more fuel efficient, the Energy Department’s new standards would make nearly all gas stoves currently on the market noncompliant, effectively banning them. The newly proposed regulation would raise gas stoves’ total efficiency rating by just 3.4%, saving consumers an estimated $21.89 over the lifetime of the stove. That’s right — 21 bucks and change.

To be fair, that’s exponentially more than the 16 cents Biden bragged about saving you on that Independence Day cookout on your propane grill…

Of course, all that “savings” from this new needless regulation would be more than lost in markup costs for the companies having to research, develop, and manufacture a whole new line of compliant gas stoves. Furthermore, who’s to say these gas stoves would actually be better? Remember what government bureaucrats did to the gas can?

In the end, this is not about safety, efficiency, or the environment; it’s all about control. In a free society, the market runs on the free choice of the consumer. As a result, genuine innovation that’s cost-effective wins the day, and the consumer as well as society are the better for it. When the government comes in to pick winners and losers, it’s the consumer that ultimately loses.

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