The Coming Gas Stove Culture War

The Coming Gas Stove Culture War

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A sign of the media times is how quickly our leading progressive bodies gather to deny that Democrats are doing what Democrats are actually doing. A classic example was this week’s explosion in the upcoming climate fight over the ban on gas stoves.

A Biden appointee to the Consumer Product Safety Commission explicitly threatened to ban gas stoves based on questionable evidence of harm to public health. “This is a hidden danger,” said Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. “Every option is on the table. Products that cannot be made safe can be banned.”

We and others criticized the idea, and the media’s response was to rush to blame conservatives for starting it all. “The new war of entitlement: gas stoves,” said Axios, which pushes hard for the climate alarmist agenda. The Washington Post assured its readers that “regulators have no plans to ban gas stoves, but Republicans are criticizing the Consumer Product Safety Commission for announcing it will review the devices’ health impacts.”

But we did not quote Mr. Trumka. We and others answered it. After public criticism faded, including from Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, the CPSC chairman denied any plans to ban, and the White House said President Biden also does not want to ban gas stoves. But that’s cold comfort given that the climate left wants to ban them, and progressive cities and states are doing just that.

Progressive cities like Berkeley, San Francisco and New York City have already banned gas stoves and other appliances in new buildings. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul this week proposed a ban on gas appliances, including stoves, in new small buildings in 2025 and larger ones in 2028.

In 2030, New Yorkers won’t be allowed to replace their gas stoves with new ones if they break. “As you start to make a transition, everyone is going to have to shut down equipment,” a state official explained. This is how the left’s “transition” to green energy of all things will work. In 2035, New Yorkers and Californians won’t even be able to buy new gasoline cars.

The Biden administration is also helping the cause against gas stoves. Last year she filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a ban on the gas from Berkeley, Calif. The Departments of Justice and Energy argued that cities and states should be able to exercise police powers to ban the use of “dangerous or unsafe articles.” Why would the federal government weigh in on a local regulatory issue if not for ideological climate solidarity?

Progressives claim that gas stoves produce pollutants that are harmful to human health. But the pollution comes from cooking with poor ventilation, not natural gas. Electric tops have the “hidden danger” of possible burns, to borrow the words of Mr. Trumka.

By the way, last week Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm retweeted a link to a study linking gas stoves to asthma: “We can and must fix this,” she tweeted. “Through @POTUS’s Inflation Reduction Act, Americans will have greater access to electric and induction cooktops.” The Inflation Reduction Act includes an $840 rebate on electric stoves.

There really is a culture war coming over gas stoves and everything else involving fossil fuels, because climate has become for the left a core cultural identity issue. Progressives want to impose their values ​​on everyone’s lifestyle, including the kitchen. If subsidies don’t work, austerity follows. When they cannot win the political debate, they use the brute force of the government. They really are coming for your stove.

Journal editorial report: Fearless predictions by Kim Strassel, Bill McGurn, Dan Henninger and Paul Gigot. Images: AFP/Getty Images Credit: Mark Kelly

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It appeared in the print edition of January 14, 2023.

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