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US Lawmakers Defend Gas Kitchen Stoves

FILE: A gas burner is pictured on a stove in a private home in Bordeaux, southwestern France, January 21, 2014.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives' GOP lawmakers say they are protecting gas stoves from over-zealous government regulators with two bills, one barring funding of gas stove regulation, the other blocking setting stricter efficiency standards for the appliance.

The White House said the administration “has been clear that it does not support any attempt to ban the use of gas stoves,″ but GOP lawmakers say rules on gas stoves represent classic government overreach.

“It’s not a petty concern to the hard-working Americans who will be impacted,″ said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. “The last thing they need is to have the Biden administration’s Green New Deal regulatory assault reach their kitchen appliances.”

The bill targeting regulation of gas stoves as hazardous was approved, 248-180.

President Joe Biden opposes both GOP bills as blocking “common-sense efforts to help Americans cut their energy bills,'' the White House said in a statement. Neither bill is expected to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Dozens of Democratic-controlled cities, including San Francisco and Berkeley, California, have moved to ban new buildings from using gas stoves as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve indoor air quality.

New York State approved a law last month banning natural gas stoves and furnaces in most new buildings.

Fears of a national ban grew after a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in January that "any option is on the table" when it comes to regulating gas stoves, which have been linked to poor indoor air quality and health harms such as asthma. The remark prompted online images of the government dragging four-burner cooktops from homes, as social media users and GOP lawmakers vowed to defend the popular appliances.

Debate reignited after the Energy Department proposed a rule requiring both gas and electric stoves and cooktops to use more efficient designs and technologies.

The Energy Department rule, which has not yet been finalized, could ban about half of gas stove models currently sold in the United States as of 2027, according to an Energy Department analysis. The rule would apply only to sale of new appliances and would not affect stoves already in homes or businesses.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington state, called the DOE plan “just the latest in a long line of power grabs by the radical left and Biden administration.''

Democrats called those concerns overheated.

“This is nothing more than a conspiracy theory cooked up to embroil Congress in culture wars that shed more heat than light on the issues facing our nation,'' said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pennsylvania.

“Contrary to the heated rhetoric from our colleagues across the aisle, the federal government has not proposed to remove appliances from Americans’ homes,'' Scanlon said.