In a bipartisan effort, Congress is pushing back against the Biden administration’s war on gas stoves.
The House passed two bills limiting the federal government from meddling with American gas stoves. The Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, which had bipartisan sponsorship, passed the House with more than 25 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.
The House also passed the Save Our Gas Stoves Act, with more than 30 Democrats voting for it.
Now the fate of gas stoves lies with the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, introduced the Save Our Stoves Act in the Senate, and earlier this year, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, introduced the Natural Gas Appliance Standards Act.
The question now is what chance any of this legislation has on putting the brakes on the Biden administration’s effort to restrict gas appliances in American homes.
Barrasso’s bill requires the U.S. Department of Energy to certify that any appliance efficiency standards do not result in switching from natural gas to electric appliances and stop the department from adopting a rule that would limit features on gas stoves, such as quick boil times or the number and size of burners.
That bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The Save Our Gas Stoves Act hasn’t been formally referred to the committee, but with Manchin chairing the committee, it’s expected to end up there.
Before either bill moves forward, the committee will hold a hearing where the subject matter is considered and witnesses are called to talk about the issue and the legislation. Afterward, the committee will produce a markup of the bill.
When that hearing takes place is up to Manchin. Since he introduced a bill to prohibit bans on gas stoves, he’ll likely accommodate a hearing on the gas stove legislation, but nothing is for certain.
On The Floor
Any bills that make it out of committee will face a Democratic-controlled Senate.
Gas stove-related bills had bipartisan support in the House, but that’s no guarantee similar legislation will get the votes it needs to pass the Senate.
President Joe Biden has vowed repeatedly that he intends to end oil and gas. The White House might tell the Senate leadership that it doesn’t want to be put in the position of having to veto the legislation. So, Senate Democrats may be told not to vote on it.
Last year, Manchin, usually considered a moderate Democrat from a coal-producing state, supported the Inflation Reduction Act with the hopes he’d receive support for his permitting reform legislation. The permitting reform effort failed, and it has left Manchin vulnerable in the election he faces next year.
He may decide to line up with Republicans on the legislation or work with other moderate Democrats to get his bill through the Senate.
‘Height Of Insanity’
Gas stoves became a flashpoint last year when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Tumpka Jr. made comments suggesting that the commission could ban gas stoves in the name of product safety.
The comments were in response to questionable studies linking natural gas appliances with respiratory diseases. Trumka walked back his comments, and the national media called the proposed ban a conspiracy theory.
The accusation was based on government sources telling reporters that the government wasn’t going to ban their gas stoves, and the media went along with it until it turned out they were absolutely wrong.
Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, voted in favor of both House bills.
“It is the height of insanity that Congress must pass legislation to keep unelected agency bureaucrats from cutting off the gas to our stoves — which would surely be followed by cutting off gas to our homes completely,” she said in a statement.
One of the concerns is that a ban on gas stoves would increase residential utility bills.
According to the American Gas Association, homes with natural gas appliances save up to $1,068 per year compared to all-electric homes.
Hageman told Cowboy State Daily that the Biden administration is not indifferent to rising energy costs. It doesn’t care.
“The administration is led by a radical element that worships at the climate change altar. They definitely care – they care about controlling our actions and habits to ensure their radical agenda cannot be stopped,” Hageman said.
Hageman said the facts about rising energy costs aren’t factored into the administration’s policies, which she called “cruel political decisions.”
“As I have often said, there is a special place in hell for those that intentionally work to raise the costs of food, housing and energy,” Hageman said.