'Faux handwringing': Officials debunk GOP claim that Democrats are 'coming for your gas stoves'

'Faux handwringing': Officials debunk GOP claim that Democrats are 'coming for your gas stoves'
Credit: Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Alex Hoehn-Saric, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSF), recently announced that the agency is “researching gas emissions in stoves” and is “actively engaged in strengthening voluntary safety standards for gas stoves.” After that announcement, far-right MAGA Republicans — from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — jumped on a new talking point and claimed that Democrats are now launching an all-out effort to ban gas stoves.

But journalist Arianna Coghill, in an article published by Mother Jones on January 12, debunks the new GOP talking point and lays out the differences between what Hoehn-Saric actually said and what MAGA Republicans are saying about him.

“In their seemingly never-ending quest to remove ‘wokeness’ from their appliances, Republicans have set their sights on waging a war on behalf of gas stoves,” Coghill explains. “The brewing battle comes amid reports that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering a ban on the beloved kitchen appliance, citing research linking emissions from gas stoves to a litany of respiratory health conditions, including children’s asthma. But the Republican outrage, which has already launched another culture war, appears to once again distort what’s actually happening.”

READ MORE:'My cold dead hands': GOP vows 'stove war' legislation over fear of feds 'coming after kitchen appliances'

Coghill notes some of the things Republicans have been saying about gas stoves. DeSantis, on January 12, tweeted, “Don’t tread on Florida, and don’t mess with gas stoves!” And Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, on January 9, tweeted, "Democrats are coming for your kitchen appliances. Their desire to control every aspect of your life knows no bounds — including how you make breakfast. They just can’t help themselves.”

Journalist Ian Powers, known for his work for the New York Daily News, tweeted that DeSantis is using a non-issue to rile up Floridians — as 92 percent of Floridians have electric stoves these days.

“Despite the right’s angry insistence, no such plan for the government to seize gas stoves exists,” Coghill reports. “As I wrote earlier this week as news of a potential ban circulated, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering a ban on new gas stoves and setting emissions standards for them. That’s a far cry from the Republican fiction going around, depicting Biden agents storming peaceful kitchens and leaving giant, gas-stove holes while all you wanted to do was enjoy some pancakes. Any potential ban is an extension of the Biden Administration’s efforts to encourage more Americans to go electric after including a rebate of up to $840 in the Inflation Reduction Act for those who wanted to purchase new electric cooking appliances.”

In an article published by Newsweek on January 12, journalist Nick Reynolds reported that Democrat-leaning states would be more affected by reducing the number of gas stoves than states that mostly vote Republican.

READ MORE: Coal baron Joe Manchin's defense of gas stoves goes down in flames

According to Reynolds, “Data from the Energy Information Administration show that while 38 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for cooking, most of those users are located in traditionally blue states like California (70 percent), New Jersey (69 percent), Illinois, and New York, whose Democratic governor is currently considering a ban on natural gas hookups in all new construction. Of that number, gas stove ownership is also a matter of wealth: According to data compiled by Matt Bruenig, a liberal researcher and founder of the People's Policy Project who has long posted about the merits of alternatives to gas stove ownership, high-wealth households make up a substantially higher proportion of gas stove ownership than low-wealth households — though some surveys have shown gas stoves are cheaper more efficient to operate.”

On January 9, CPSF’s Rich Trumka, Jr. tweeted, “To be clear, CPSC isn't coming for anyone's gas stoves. Regulations apply to new products. For Americans who CHOOSE to switch from gas to electric, there is support available - Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act which includes a $840 rebate.”

Then, on January 11, Hoehn-Saric tweeted, “I want to set the record straight. Contrary to recent media reports, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the @USCPSC has no proceeding to do so.”

Coghill says of Republicans, “Their faux handwringing has conveniently omitted mention of the increasing evidence pointing to serious health concerns from gas stove emissions. As we’ve reported, research has shown that gas stoves are hazardous, even when they’re turned off. A new study released earlier this month found about one in eight cases of childhood asthma stem from pollution from gas stoves. But it doesn’t seem like you’ll hear anything about that from Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

READ MORE: Texas enabled the worst carbon monoxide poisoning catastrophe in recent US history

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