The Biden administration launched a war against gas stoves, claiming they create harmful pollutants and may contribute to asthma in children.
Biden’s War On Gas Stoves
On Monday, an agency commissioner with the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) told Bloomberg that a ban on gas stoves in homes is “on the table,” citing the appliance’s link to serious health conditions such as respiratory illness, cancer, and childhood asthma.
Natural gas stoves are used in about 40% of homes in the U.S. The administration claims gas stoves emit air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter at levels the EPA and World Health Organization have said are unsafe and linked to respiratory illness, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and other health conditions, according to reports by groups such as the Institute for Policy Integrity and the American Chemical Society.
Indoor air pollution is the pollution (or contamination) of the indoor air caused by pollutants and sources like Carbon Monoxide, Particulate Matter (PM 2.5), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Radon, Mold, and Ozone.
Consumer Reports, in October, urged consumers planning to buy a new range to consider going electric after tests conducted by the group found high levels of nitrogen oxide gases from gas stoves.
“This is a hidden hazard,” Richard Trumka Jr., an agency commissioner, said in an interview. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” He added the commission could consider imposing new emissions standards on the appliances. Trumka is one of several commissioners on the CPSC.
The study, which was led by the environmental think tank RMI, suggests that nearly 650,000 cases or 12.7% of childhood asthma can be attributed to gas stove use. Asthma affects about 5 million children across the country.
Scientists and activists cheer the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recent decision to weigh new regulations on indoor air pollution from gas stoves,
The Grim Future for Gas Stoves
The low cost of natural gas has been a sigh of relief for Europeans caught in the middle of one of the worst energy crises in history because of the debacle in Ukraine.
Large cities like Los Angeles and New York are leading the way in banning natural gas appliances in new homes and buildings, and California, where natural gas produces 5% of the state’s air pollution each year, is also on track to ban furnaces and water heaters that rely on the energy source by 2030.
The New York City Council voted in 2021 to ban natural gas hookups in new buildings smaller than seven stories by the end of this year.
Consumers who want to switch from gas to electric ranges can get help from the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes rebates of up to $840 for purchasing new electric ranges as part of some $4.5 billion in funding to help low/moderate-income households electrify their homes.
The American Gas Association, a powerful trade group representing the U.S. natural gas industry, slammed the study’s methodology and findings, accusing the authors of pursuing a “headline-grabbing approach” that lacked scientific rigor.
“The claims made in this paper are clearly driven by simple advocacy-based modeling and hypotheticals over the deep and sophisticated analysis we should see in sound science,” Karen Harbert, the association’s president and chief executive, said in an emailed statement.
“The authors conducted no measurements or tests based on real-life appliance usage, emissions rates or exposures, and did not adequately consider other factors that are known to contribute to asthma and other respiratory health outcomes,” Harbert added.
Twenty states, whose consumption makes up about one-third of the U.S.’s total natural gas use, have passed legislation blocking any attempt to ban gas hookups in new construction.
What Else Pollutes The Air?
There can be many other things that can pollute the air other than a gas stove.
Things like Climate Engineering can cause issues, which include an array of daily aluminum nanoparticles sprayed in the air we breathe, which the government claims help with the earth’s warming. These aluminum nanoparticles can cause asthma and pulmonary disease and penetrate the brain in the areas most affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Gas advocates argue that gas appliance health concerns are minuscule compared to other things like cigarettes. Environmental law experts say gas stoves are “low-hanging fruit.”
Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate outdoor air pollution from cars, power plants, and other sources. But the agency lacks the power to regulate indoor air pollution from gas stoves and other appliances.
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