A new proposal by the Department of Energy could reignite the debate over gas stoves.
The department released a proposal Wednesday for new energy-saving standards for conventional consumer cooking methods, which include gas and electric stoves and ovens.
He cited analysis showing the changes would lead to significant energy savings and noted they could bring environmental benefits.
The move follows a controversy over gas stoves that was sparked in early January when a news report said the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was considering a ban due to concerns about indoor air health, citing an interview with CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. . “It’s a hidden danger,” Mr. Trumka told Bloomberg News. “Every option is on the table. Products that cannot be made safe may be banned.
Mr. Trumka’s comments drew backlash from Republicans and some centrist Democrats, who believe the Biden administration is trying to ban a beloved cooking style.
“The federal government has no business telling me or any American family how to cook dinner,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) wrote in a post on Twitter Thursday.
The Democrat, who represents a solidly Republican state and is running for re-election in 2024, introduced legislation Thursday with Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) to block any potential federal ban on gas stoves. The proposed bill would also ban provisions that significantly increase the cost of appliances.
Mr. Trumka said the CPSC is “not coming for anybody’s gas stoves.” The commission said it is looking at ways to make the appliances safer. A White House spokesman said President Biden does not support banning stoves.
The Department of Energy said it is not proposing a ban on gas cooking products. The agency fulfills legal obligations.
“Every major manufacturer has products that meet or exceed the requirements proposed today — including nearly 50 percent of the current gas cooktop market that will not be affected by this proposal,” the department said Wednesday.
More than a third of American households cook with gas, according to the Energy Information Administration, and gas stoves remain popular among professional and home cooks. But interest in phasing out the appliances has grown, especially in Democratic-led cities focused on cutting emissions as part of broader climate goals.
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In December, Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Representative Don Beyer (D., Va.) sent a letter urging Mr. Hoehn-Sarich, the CPSC chairman, to address air pollutants emitted by gas stoves.
“Consumers have a right to know their exposure risks and need adequate ventilation,” Mr Booker tweeted this week.
Numerous scientific studies show that gas stoves release air pollutants that can affect indoor air quality and increase the risk of health problems such as asthma. They also emit carbon dioxide, prompting some American cities to consider phasing out natural gas connections to homes and businesses in an effort to reduce emissions. That, in turn, prompted states including Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma to introduce laws banning such municipal bans, and many fossil fuel industry groups lobbied against the bans.
— Annie Linsky contributed to this article.
Email Talal Ansari at [email protected]
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