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Hands off our stoves! Industry forms group to combat Biden crackdown on gas appliances

The administration and its green allies are trying to disrupt gas appliance markets, phase out infrastructure, warns President of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association Tim Stewart.

Published: March 26, 2023 11:44pm

Updated: March 27, 2023 7:46am

The Biden administration, aided by its green energy allies, is invading the American family's personal space with its coming regulatory crackdown on gas stoves, U.S. Oil and Gas Association President Tim Stewart says.

"The kitchen is the epicenter of everybody's home," Stewart told the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "It's where parents teach their kids. You gather around the center island and eat together. This is a place where all the teaching takes place. And this green movement is knocking on our front doors and working its way to the center of our houses." 

The aggressive, new regulatory reach straight into the heart of American domestic life "really bothers people," said Stewart. "It's an invasion of their personal space."

He said his industry will be forming an effort to whip up consumer support against the regulations and send an unmistakable message to “keep your hands off our stoves.”

In January, the Biden administration was forced to backpedal after an official hinted at a possible nationwide ban on gas stoves, claiming the appliances are linked to climate change, pollution and health problems such as cancer. 

Calling the appliances a "hidden hazard," Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg in January that "any option is on the table" with regard to regulating them.

Roughly 38% of U.S. households have gas stoves.

Discussing new efficiency standards for consumer cooking appliances proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE) last month, Stewart portrayed them as part of a larger Biden administration war on fossil fuels, including a two-pronged attack on the natural gas industry involving disrupting the market for gas appliances while also limiting gas supply by phasing out the infrastructure to deliver it to homes.

The DOE "rule would ban 84% of the gas stoves that they're testing as not being efficient enough," he said. "And so the crappy gas stoves that you and I had in our college dorm rooms might make the cut. But the high-end Viking and subzero ranges, they're not going to make the cut under this DOE proposal. And according to that 84% test, it will save people $4 a year, that's their estimate. So it's not about savings, not about health, it's about control." 

The second prong, or "back-facing" piece, is "they coordinate with the energy groups ... and they come into the local level," Stewart explained, "and they push the local decision-makers and the regulatory agencies, the city councils, to push for a ban on ... natural gas in new construction.

"And so they're trying to put the squeeze where even if I did have to replace a stove, or if I'm building a new house I couldn't find a stove ... it doesn't matter, because I can't get a new gas line coming in. And that's really what they're trying to do. And so the price of natural gas, it fluctuates — but the bigger issue, honestly, is the fact that we may have supply but no way to actually use it. That's what's a real concern to my industry."

The Democrats' response to their loss of legislative control in the House is to "jack up the regulatory overreach to 11 or 12, if they can," said Stewart. If the oil and gas industry is to weather the anticipated regulatory assault, he believes, it must fight on two fronts — in the regulatory trenches and in the court of public opinion.

"I think we're gonna see aggressive new moves in every aspect of our industry on the regulatory side," he said. "I've been telling people to watch out not necessarily for the highly public ones but, again, that backdoor approach, like they're doing against our stoves.

"And so we have to fight them on the regulatory front, but honestly, we got to fight them better in the public opinion ... my industry needs to do better in getting the message out and actually connecting with our consumers. I think this gas stove thing is a really good opportunity. I'm excited for it.

"You know, if we get enough people storming the barricades, so to speak, we can make a difference."

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