By Dr. Harold A. Black
In case you missed it, the left’s latest jihad is the war on gas stoves. Never mind that most cooks prefer gas. Never mind that 40 million households have gas stoves (including my two cooktops). The powers that be have determined that gas stoves are bad for you and (gasp) bad for the environment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it was contemplating a ban because of health and pollution concerns. One of its commissioners tweeted that “gas stoves can emit dangerous [levels] of toxic chemicals—even when not in use—and @USCPSC will consider all approaches to regulation.” New stoves might be banned but existing stoves could face being regulated. The governor of New York also proposed banning all natural gas heating and appliances from new buildings. She said “Buildings are the largest source of emissions in our state, accounting for a third of our greenhouse gas output, as well as pollution that aggravates asthma and endangers our children. I’m proposing a plan to end the sale of any new fossil-fuel-powered heating equipment by 2030.” Not surprisingly California was the first state to prohibit natural gas appliances when the California Air Resources Board approved to ban them by 2030. Other leftist-governed states will follow.
The Biden Administration which has prostrated itself to the green god of the left, included an $800 rebate in the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” if you buy an electric stove. There have been a few studies citing the health effects of breathing in the nitrogen dioxide emitted from gas stoves. But the conclusions have been questioned by other researchers. Never mind that the number of cases cited are few, that has never concerned those interested in eliminating fossil fuels and controlling you via the nanny state. As to the claim that your gas stove contributes to polluting the earth, one study estimates that the emissions from gas stoves are equivalent to that of one half million automobiles (there are around 280 million cars in the US).
Several Republicans lashed out at the Biden Administration, calling such rules evidence of the nanny state gone wild. Even Democrat Joe Manchin tweeted “The federal government has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner. I can tell you the last thing that would ever leave my house is the gas stove that we cook on.” In reaction, the chairman of the CPSC said “to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so. CPSC is researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address health risks. CPSC also is actively engaged in strengthening voluntary safety standards for gas stoves.” Biden even had his press secretary issue a statement that the president was not looking to ban gas stoves.
There is a very simple way to prevent emissions of nitrogen dioxide from causing harm as a result of cooking: turn on the stove’s vent.
But of course that involves personal responsibility which is an anathema to the left. Of course, gas stoves are also asserted to be racist. Some Democrat legislators sent a letter to the CPSC alleging that gas stove emissions had a disproportionately adverse affect on the health of black, Latino and low-income households. One study found that 12 percent of children with asthma lived in households with gas stoves and since black children are three times more likely than white children to have asthma, then this becomes an “equity” issue. However, the authors of the study noted that there is no hard evidence that cooking with gas actually caused the asthma. It seems to me that a reasonable person would note that if 12 percent of asthmatic children live in homes with gas stoves, then that must mean that 88 percent do not. So shouldn’t we ban electric stoves as well? Obviously, those on the left would blanche at reverting to using wood or coal, so they are touting induction stoves, which start at over $1,000. The Inflation Reduction Act rebate will come in handy here.