Gas Stove Ban ‘on the Table,’ Commissioner Says
Comments fuel debate over the efficiency and safety of natural gas versus electricity.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, a commissioner with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) claimed that a ban on natural gas stoves within the United States is “on the table.”
“This is a hidden hazard,” CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka, Jr. told Bloomberg regarding the use of gas cooking. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
In response to Trumka’s interview with Bloomberg, reported that CPSC had issued a statement in response: “CPSC has not proposed any regulatory action on gas stoves at this time. Any regulatory action by the Commission would involve a lengthy process. Agency staff plans to start gathering data and perspectives from the public on potential hazards associated with gas stoves, and proposed solutions to those hazards later this year. Commission staff also continues to work with voluntary standards organizations to examine gas stove emissions and address potential hazards.”
On Twitter this week, Trumka clarified his statements as well, tweeting “To be clear, CPSC isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves. Regulations apply to new products.”
The use of gas in cooking is not without health risks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Nitrogen dioxide and other air pollutants that are released when natural gas is burned can cause respiratory infections, heightened asthma symptoms, and lung diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer.
“There is about 50 years of health studies showing that gas stoves are bad for our health, and the strongest evidence is on children and children’s asthma,” Brady Seals, a manager at the nonprofit clean energy group Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) confirmed to Bloomberg.
However, according to Jill Notini, a vice president with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, cooking produces emissions and harmful byproducts no matter what kind of stove is used.
“Ventilation is really where this discussion should be, rather than banning one particular type of technology,” Notini told Bloomberg. “Banning one type of a cooking appliance is not going to address the concerns about overall indoor air quality.”
Similarly, in December 2022, the American Gas Association (AGA) issued a statement on their concerns with a proposed U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ruling on “electrifying” new or newly renovated federal buildings. “Eliminating natural gas in federal buildings is an impractical, unscientific, and expensive idea that will have no environmental benefit. In reality, the demand for electricity fueled by natural gas will only increase and the costs will be borne by every taxpayer. Today, 187 million Americans use natural gas in their homes every day, more people than voted in the last election. According to the Department of Energy, natural gas is 3.4 times more affordable than electricity to heat buildings, including federal offices, and significantly more affordable than several other energy sources for the same amount of energy delivered.”
For more information on the negative effects of nitrogen dioxide and other air pollutants, check out Air Pollution Affects 99% of the World’s Population.