Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm admitted Thursday that she uses a gas stove.
The admission was mind-numbingly ironic, because it came as she defended potential new energy regulations that would ban, by her own admission, at least half of the gas stoves currently on the market.
What did Granholm say?
At a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Energy Department’s budget for fiscal year 2024, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) asked Granholm about new proposed rules for energy conservation standards that would impact gas and electric stoves.
At first, Granholm claimed there has been “an awful lot of misinformation” about the proposed standards. Then she downplayed how many stoves would be impacted.
“This does not impact the majority, and it certainly does not say that anybody who has a gas stove would have their gas stove taken away,” she said.
“There’s no ban on gas stoves. I have a gas stove,” the secretary added. “It is just about making the existing electric and gas stoves, and all the other appliances, more efficient.”
Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the Department of Energy
In his question, Newhouse claimed that 96% of all gas stoves would be adversely impacted by the new energy standards.
But Granholm said the statistic is misleading because the study from which it was derived only tested gas stoves that researchers presupposed would fail the testing standards. She explained that expensive commercial stoves were most likely to fail because they have larger burners relative to the size of most conventional cookware.
Still, she admitted that “half of the gas stoves on the market right now wouldn’t even be impacted,” suggesting that at least half of the gas stoves on the market will be impacted.
That means Americans would not be able to purchase those stoves, and it’s unclear what the remedy would be for gas stoves currently installed that do not meet the standards. Gas stoves in that case could be grandfathered in, modified to conform to the standards, or be prohibited altogether.
Last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to seek public comment on gas stoves. CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. described the vote as “an important milestone on the road to protecting consumers from potential hidden hazards in their homes—the emissions from gas stoves.”
Meanwhile, New York is poised to become the first state to impose a legislative ban on natural gas appliances, including gas stoves, in new buildings.
Supporters of such bans claim gas appliances emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
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