WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican-controlled House of Representatives this week will take on what some lawmakers see as a burning issue: protecting Americans from new restrictions on gas-fueled stoves. The House is set to vote on two bills preventing regulators from banning the stoves in the future or setting new energy conservation and health standards […]
House Republicans aim to defend gas-stove owners’ ‘freedoms’
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican-controlled House of Representatives this week will take on what some lawmakers see as a burning issue: protecting Americans from new restrictions on gas-fueled stoves.
The House is set to vote on two bills preventing regulators from banning the stoves in the future or setting new energy conservation and health standards for new models.
Some state and local governments have begun banning gas-fueled furnaces, water heaters, and gas stoves in some new buildings as a way of reducing fossil-fuel emissions contributing to climate change.
The Republican bills, if passed by the House, could face opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Republicans accuse the Biden administration of pursuing regulations that could impact the more than one-third of American households using gas stoves for cooking.
“The White House wants to limit your ability to purchase and use gas stoves,” House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole said on Monday.
Democrats say they are trying to ensure new gas stoves do not lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or put children at risk of developing asthma. They also aim to reduce carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels such as natural gas.
“Contrary to rhetoric out there, the government is not coming for anybody’s gas stove,” Democratic Representative Mary Gay Scanlon said on Monday.
The votes come as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has begun collecting information on health hazards of gas stove emissions. CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka suggested in January a ban was possible, but the agency clarified that any regulatory changes, if ever pursued, would involve a “lengthy process.”
On Tuesday, the House is expected vote on the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, which would prohibit the CPSC from declaring gas stoves a hazardous product or take other steps to prohibit their sale.
On Wednesday, the House is due to vote on the Save Our Gas Stoves Act, which would restrict energy conservation standards for the appliances. It also would block the Department of Energy from taking actions that would lead to gas stoves being taken off the market or selling at higher prices.
Republican President Donald Trump in 2019 and 2020 eased or blocked rules encouraging water-conserving plumbing and energy-efficient light bulbs.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; editing by Andy Sullivan and Chris Reese)