WASHINGTON — A new bipartisan duo is diving in to defend gas stoves.
Senate Energy Committee Chairman Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the new ranking member of the Commerce Committee, are teaming up on legislation Thursday that would bar the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal funding to ban new or existing gas stoves, according to a copy of the bill first shared with NBC News.
Specifically, the two-page Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act would prevent the commission from using federal funds to regulate an existing gas stove as a “banned hazardous product” or to impose or enforce any consumer product safety standard or rule that would result in prohibiting the use or sale of gas stoves or hiking their average price in the U.S.
Will gas stoves be banned? ‘Hidden hazard’ comment ignites debateJan. 13, 202303:18
“The federal government has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner, which is why Senator Cruz and I introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure Americans decide how to cook in their own homes,” Manchin, who has been fighting for a massive gas pipeline project to be built in West Virginia, said in a statement.
“I can tell you the last thing that would ever leave our house is the gas stove we cook on, and I will continue to fight any overreach by the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” he continued.
Cruz, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said: "Make no mistake, radical environmentalists want to stop Americans from using natural gas. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s proposed ban on gas stoves is the latest egregious scaremongering by the far left and their Biden administration allies.
“I am pleased to partner with Senator Manchin in this bipartisan effort to stop the federal government from issuing regulations that put the interests of the Green New Deal before the well-being of American families," Cruz said.
Nearly 40% of U.S. homes use gas stoves, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The Manchin-Cruz proposal is a direct response to a top official at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, who ignited a fiery debate last month by floating the possibility that new gas stoves could be banned over concerns that pollutants from burning gas indoors could increase health risks, including the risk of childhood asthma.
“Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said in an interview with Bloomberg News, adding that “any option is on the table.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden “does not support banning gas stoves.” A CPSC spokesperson clarified that staff members will begin “gathering data and perspectives from the public on potential hazards associated with gas stoves and proposed solutions to those hazards later this year.”
In a letter to the CPSC last week, Cruz said a “total or partial ban on gas stoves would constitute government overreach” and disputed the finding of studies that linked gas stoves to health risks.
The issue had been simmering when the Energy Department reignited the gas stove debate Wednesday by proposing new efficiency standards for consumer cooking appliances.
The proposed standards, which focus on energy consumption, would require that both gas and electric stoves meet certain efficiency thresholds. The proposal also suggests new standards for gas and electric ovens.
“As required by Congress, the Department of Energy is proposing efficiency standards for gas and electric cooktops — we are not proposing bans on either,” a department spokesperson said in a statement.
“The proposed standards would not go into effect until 2027 and cumulatively save the nation up to $1.7 billion," the spokesperson said. "Every major manufacturer has products that meet or exceed the requirements proposed today.”