Originally published in the Wall Street Journal, January 26 by Kimberley A. Strassel, as:
The Campaign to Ban Gas Stoves
Biden and the media deny it exists, but the effort is calculated and well-funded.
Don’t believe for a second Consumer Product Safety Commission member Richard Trumka Jr.’s slippery claim that they aren’t coming for your stove. Or the media narrative that Republicans are “hyping” a new “culture war” by “pretending” the Biden administration intends to ban gas stoves.
The reason gas stoves are in the news is simple: There is a coordinated, calculated—and well-funded—strategy to kill them off. It’s the joint enterprise of extremely powerful climate groups, working with Biden administration officials who have publicly stated their aim to eliminate all “combustion appliances” in homes. Only after the GOP called them out did anyone pretend otherwise.
Some of this is being exposed in letters sent this week by Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Ted Cruz to CPSC commissioners demanding more information.
The letters highlight the primary groups behind this push.
One is the Climate Imperative Foundation, which became an overnight green powerhouse and reported more receipts in 2021 than the League of Conservation Voters or the Sierra Club.
A board member and funder is Kleiner Perkins billionaire John Doerr, whose climate action plan calls for getting rid of gas cooking.
CIF’s executive director, Bruce Nilles, has made the end of gas stoves an imperative, writing in 2019: “Your gas stove has to go.” CIF has granted money to the Rocky Mountain Institute, which has long advocated “retrofitting” existing homes to be “all electric.”
Then there’s Rewiring America, “the leading electrification nonprofit, focused on electrifying our homes, businesses and communities.”
And New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity, which last year called on the CPSC to enact a gas-stove ban.
The stated goal of all these group is killing gas to “save” the planet. Yet they also know Americans won’t give up their stoves in the name of climate.
So several years ago this cabal hit on the idea of contradicting decades of science and ginning up hokey studies claiming gas stoves present a “health risk.”
The twin goals: scare Americans and give government a pretext to ban gas cooking.
This is how you end up with climate outfits masquerading as health experts.
One frequently cited study from the Rocky Mountain Institute—claiming to find a link between gas stoves and childhood asthma—was co-authored by two RMI staffers, neither of whom has a science degree.
Another favorite study by New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity claims gas stoves cause “dangerous levels of indoor air pollution.”
It was written by two lawyers, and it cites . . . the RMI study. Ah, science.
Then there’s the paid research.
The November edition of the “independent” magazine Consumer Reports was devoted to the “Hidden Health Hazards in Your Home” and explained that its research found an “alarming concern” with levels of nitrogen dioxide from gas stoves. (It also featured a four-page tribute to induction cooktops, the left’s expensive alternative to gas.)
Tucked at the end of the article online was an editor’s note: “This project was funded in part with a grant from the Climate Imperative Foundation.”
CIF’s 2021 tax filings show a $375,000 donation to Consumer Reports specifically for research on gas stoves.
The Biden administration is close to these groups and has wholly appropriated their “health” line.
It’s been open about using those claims to get rid of gas stoves—following state and local bans.
The White House last month held an “electrification summit,” which featured a panel on getting gas out of homes.
Nearly every guest (including a representative from Rewiring America) stated the “health” harm of gas stoves as accepted fact, and Trisha Miller of the White House’s Climate Policy Office described the need to “eliminate emissions” by getting rid of all “combustion appliances” in houses (including your washer, dryer and furnace).
The electrification agenda is being carried out through the Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, which lists Rewiring America and RMI as “allies.”
This ground laying and coordination is the backdrop for the Trumka explosion. Around the time of the Consumer Reports story—and in the runup to the Electrification Summit—Mr. Trumka circulated a memo titled “NPR Proposin
g Ban on Gas Stoves (Indoor Air Quality).” (NPR is an acronym for notice of proposed rulemaking.)
The Cruz letter says the memo cites the Consumer Reports and NYU studies among reasons Mr. Trumka concludes there is “sufficient information” now to forbid Americans from purchasing new gas stoves. While the Trumka proposal failed, the CPSC initiated a “request for information”—a first step toward a ban.
Only after Bloomberg exposed
some of this did the ensuing public furor cause the CPSC and White House to run for cover.
But make no mistake: A ban is the plan. Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said at the summit that “if we are going to get to net zero emissions by 2050,” we’ll need electric “cars and buses and home heating and cooking.”
The left won’t stop until it has dictated what you drive, where you live, and how you cook.
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