How New York is grappling with the 'complicated transition' from gas to electric stoves: report

How New York is grappling with the 'complicated transition' from gas to electric stoves: report
image via Creative Commons

MAGA Republicans and right-wing media outlets have turned gas stoves into yet another culture war battle, claiming that liberals and progressives are trying to bully and coerce Americans into cooking with electricity whether they like it or not. The irony: gas stoves are more commonly used in blue states than in red states.

According to the Energy Information Administration, 68 percent of U.S. households now have electric stoves compared to 38 percent that still have gas stoves. But that varies from state to state, with blue northeastern and midwestern states being much more likely to own gas stoves than southern red states. In deep red Tennessee, for example, 89 percent of stoves are electric; in New Jersey, New York and Illinois — all blue states — gas stoves are more common. Pennsylvania, a swing state, is in the middle; it has more electric stoves per capita than New Jersey but fewer than Mississippi or Alabama.

Journalist Maggie Duffy, in an article published by Mother Jones on February 5, zeros in on efforts to make electric stoves more prominent in New York State — and lays out some reasons why the transition is so “complicated.”

READ MORE:AOC mocks GOP 'meltdown' over her gas stove remarks

“As the gas stove battle focuses on the twists and turns of influencers, lobbyists, and public health advocates, it is missing something fundamental: how complicated the transition from gas to electric stoves and heating turns out to be — even in the view of those who understand the environmental urgency of this move,” Duffy explains. “Over the last few years, and especially recently, New York State has offered a preview of this struggle.”

Duffy notes that in New York State, the All-Electric Buildings Act “would mandate electric energy in all new construction by the end of the decade.”

“The legislation specifically requires new infrastructure to prohibit gas hookups in smaller buildings by 2024 and larger buildings by 2027,” the Mother Jones journalist reports. “(Democratic) Gov. (Kathy) Hochul supported the initiative in her 2023 State of the State and executive budget, but pushed both deadlines back.”

Switching from gas stoves to electric stoves, Duffy stresses, is much easier said than done in a state where gas stoves are still common. New York City is full of older buildings that still have gas hookups in the kitchen.

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

Anna Kelles, a Democrat who serves in the New York State Assembly, told Mother Jones, “I just wanna make it really, really clear: This is not about transitioning existing buildings. This is about new buildings.”

Lara Skinner, director of the Climate Jobs Institute at the Cornell School of International Labor Relations, warns that the transition from gas stoves to electric stoves in New York State will mean convincing voters that it will be conducive to job creation.

Skinner told Mother Jones, “We’re going to erode public support for this climate work if we’re not creating high-quality jobs and careers that are actually family- and community-sustaining.” And Constance Bradley, president of Transport Workers Union Local 101, told the publication that while moving away from fossil fuels is a noble goal, politicians must be careful to important to avoid “the displacement of blue-collar workers.”

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

Read Mother Jones’ full report at this link.

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