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July 19, 2023

Dear Gov’t, Get Out of Our Kitchens

House Republicans target those infamous regulations on gas stoves, dishwashers, and water heaters.

Government regulations affect a long list of products we buy and use, some more than others. How much water can your toilet flush? The government will tell you. What kind of lightbulbs are permitted in your home? The government will tell you. It’s no surprise that gas appliances are next on the docket.

Back in January, Joe Biden’s administration engaged in a bit of gaslighting on gas stoves. Based on what turned out to be fake science, Consumer Product Safety Commission Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. called gas stoves a “hidden hazard,” even floating the idea of a ban. “Any option is on the table,” he said. “Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”

Administration personnel quickly rushed to put out the fire, promising they are “not looking to ban gas stoves.”

Fast-forward about a month, however, and the administration admitted that it’s working on new efficiency regulations that wouldn’t technically ban gas stoves but would raise the bar so high that most of today’s stoves would be effectively banned. New York just did literally ban gas stoves in new buildings by 2026.

Moreover, federal rules don’t just put bureaucrats in your kitchen but also in your utility closet and bathroom.

The House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs held hearings on the subject this week, and Republican Chairman Pat Fallon warned that many appliances are in danger. “The Department of Energy’s proposed rulemakings on home appliances,” he said, are “a tidal wave of regulatory burdens affecting Americans’ daily lives.” It doesn’t stop with stoves. Fallon explained, “There are other rulemakings under consideration for dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and other household appliances under the guise of improving energy efficiency as proscribed by the Environmental Policy and Conservation Act, or ‘EPCA.’”

Democrat Representative Shontel Brown, on the other hand, continues to insist that we should believe Democrats and their media propagandists, not our lyin’ eyes. “I regret that this committee continues to hold hearings on things that do not exist,” she complained, “like a bogus ban on gas stoves, while ignoring the real economic and energy issues affecting people across this country.”

Real economic and energy issues created by Bidenomics, but we digress.

For its part, the administration is still playing a game of semantics and high-minded intent.

“The Department of Energy is not proposing any ban on gas stoves,” DOE Under Secretary for Science and Innovation Geraldine Richmond testified to that House subcommittee. “DOE is committed to consumer choice. The department does not have the authority to ban gas stoves. DOE cannot require, and is not proposing, that consumers replace those already installed in their homes.”

Again, it’s the difference between literal and effective bans, for one thing. For another, “consumer choice” means buyers get to pick from the best products companies have to offer, not a centrally planned shortlist of heavily regulated and inferior items. No, DOE agents may not come to your house to remove your stove or water heater, but maintaining your current appliances will become more expensive, and you’ll have fewer and pricier choices for replacement.

Finally, and far more worrisome, Joe Biden claimed he didn’t have authority to forgive student loans. And then he did it anyway — twice. Barack Obama repeatedly assured us that he didn’t have authority to legalize “Dreamers” in that whole DACA fiasco. And then he did it anyway. Forgive us if we’re highly skeptical of Democrat promises about restrained power.

Maybe your home uses all-electric appliances and you’re tempted to greet this regulatory bonanza with a shrug. But 40% of American homes use gas stoves, and millions of Americans vastly prefer cooking with gas. The chef at your local restaurant sure isn’t using an electric range.

Regardless, the administrative state is totally out of control. We recently celebrated Independence Day, which marked the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Among that document’s numerous complaints against the British crown are some that hit really close to home in today’s America. “He has erected a multitude of New Offices,” the Declaration says, “and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”

We can’t even cook food in our own kitchens without Biden Bureaucrats harassing us.

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