by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04)
On February 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposed an “energy efficiency standard” for gas cooking products. For those who are unaware, this is a blatant backdoor attempt to ban gas appliances—at least half of gas stove models sold in the United States today would not comply with this regulation according to DOE. The American people deserve answers to stop this draconian measure that would be detrimental for families, small businesses, and rural communities across our nation.
Last month, I sent a letter to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm expressing deep concern about the newly proposed anti-gas appliance rule. While I’m still waiting for a response, I had the opportunity to question Secretary Granholm on this proposed ban just last week at an Appropriations subcommittee hearing. Unsurprisingly, she failed to cite correct numbers to back up this proposed rule.
In early February, DOE published a report regarding energy conservation standards for consumer conventional cooking products, which estimated only 4 percent of gas stove tops on the market would meet the proposed maximum rate, meaning 96 percent of gas stoves would fail. When I asked Secretary Granholm about these findings and inquired why the DOE initiated this proposed ruling, she responded by saying the 96 percent statistics was incorrect because the DOE specifically chose a test group of gas stoves which were most likely to be impacted—higher-end gas stoves. However, she also said 50 percent of gas stoves on the market wouldn’t be impacted—meaning the other half would be banned. Let me repeat that: Secretary Granholm admitted that at least half of the gas stove top models currently in the marketplace would be incompliant under this proposed rule.
It’s no secret the Biden Administration has decimated the American energy industry, and this is just another step towards eliminating carbon-based fuels entirely. Natural gas utilities have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 69 percent since 1990 and helped homeowners reduce their carbon emissions 1.2 percent every year, but that doesn’t matter to the Biden Administration because this proposed rule isn’t about gas stoves or the environment; it’s about the elimination of natural gas entirely in the pursuit of their alarmist and unscientific Green New Deal Energy boondoggle.
Natural gas is a dependable, efficient, cost-effective, and secure energy resource. As our nation faces unprecedented energy costs, soaring inflation, and rising food prices, it’s imperative for government leaders to implement measures that alleviate the financial strain on communities across the country, not create additional burdens. More than 3 in 4 restaurant kitchens use natural gas to cook, which makes it easy to understand how devastating a gas appliance ban would be to the restaurant and hospitality industry. By tapping into our abundant resources instead of shutting them off, we can offer much-needed relief to Americans during these challenging times.
Washington State has already imposed restrictions on natural gas heating in new construction homes and office buildings. These regulations add nearly $6,000 on average to the cost of new construction, burdening families and small business owners already struggling with high energy costs. It’s vital that our leaders make decisions based on fact-based evidence and common-sense solutions; not virtue signaling or political agendas.
Last week, my House colleagues and I passed H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, which holds the Biden Administration responsible for its war on American energy independence and reverse course on radical policies to help drive down costs for Americans. It also included a crucial amendment that prevents the DOE from finalizing, implementing, administering, or enforcing the proposed energy conservation standard for cooking products.
This is a matter of consumer choice, energy independence, and common sense.
President Biden’s anti-American energy policies put our nation on a dangerous path. It’s time for the government to stop overregulating our lives and focus on solutions that will truly benefit the American people and our energy future. And that starts with them getting their hands off our stoves.
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