WA Rep. maintains fervent push to keep gas stovetops unregulated
Jun 5, 2023, 6:09 PM
(Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (WA-4) introduced a bill on Monday to block the new Department of Energy conservation standards for gas stovetops.
Newhouse stated the rule he’s attempting to block would limit consumer access to gas kitchen ranges and ovens.
“I am proud to introduce this legislation to stop the draconian rule proposed by the Biden Administration and protect Americans’ wallets, time, jobs, and freedom,” Newhouse wrote in a prepared statement. “It’s time for the government to stop overregulating our lives and focus on solutions that will truly benefit the American people and our energy future. And that starts with them getting their hands off our stoves.”
The Republican — who represents central Washington — has co-sponsored a number of gas-related bills. One, called the “Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act,” would prevent federal safety regulators from enforcing any rules that would prohibit the use and sale of gas stoves. Newhouse even voted for the Lower Energy Costs Act, which included an amendment preventing the Department of Energy from implementing a gas stove ban.
“Gas appliances are at the center of many American households — they power our stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and fireplaces,” Newhouse continued. “Nearly 187 million Americans use natural gas because it is affordable, reliable, and safe. The proposed rule proposed by the Biden Administration would have detrimental effects on American households, restaurants, and communities across Central Washington and the nation.”
There was fierce push-back when the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission raised concerns gas stoves may contribute to childhood asthma and other health problems.
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“Natural gas has been one of the principal drivers to achieving our nation’s environmental and economic goals. From providing affordable energy to consumers to driving down emissions, the benefits this fuel has for our nation are tangible and impossible to ignore,” said Karen Harbert, the president and CEO of the American Gas Association. “Any push to ban natural gas would raise costs to consumers, jeopardize environmental progress and deny affordable energy to underserved populations.”
On Feb. 1, 2023, the Department of Energy proposed an “energy efficiency standard” for gas cooking products. The proposed rule would require, for the first time ever, an energy performance standard for residential stovetops. If finalized, the bill would set maximum annual energy consumption standards for electric and gas cooking tops manufactured and sold into commerce, blocking manufacturers from selling gas conventional cooking tops that consumed more than 1,204 thousand British thermal units (kBtu) per year.