On the heels of a comment deadline of a Department of Energy (DOE) proposed rulemaking that would regulate away a significant portion of gas cooking products on the market – in a “de facto ban” – a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee held a hearing on this very topic. The DOE proposal would significantly impact the direct use of natural gas, which APGA members advocate for, given their customers around the country who choose gas-cooking products. Matthew Agen of the American Gas Association testified at the hearing, referring to this proposed rulemaking as “an indirect way” of banning gas stoves. APGA agrees and has stated such in comments. According to the DOE’s own data, as much as 50% of the current gas stoves on the market would not meet the Department’s energy efficiency standards and would be subsequently banned from the market. While this figure is shocking, the rulemaking could actually ban closer to 96% of the US gas stoves on the market. Republicans on the committee were vocal in their opposition to the proposal and spoke highly of the reliability and quality of gas cooking products. Chairman Fallon (R-TX) voiced significant concerns over DOE’s disregard for consumer choice in its decision to cut the options so drastically. Some Democrats on the committee appeared baffled by the subject of the hearing with Ranking Member Bush (D-MO) stating that this proposed rulemaking “is not a ban on gas stoves, it is a regulation on indoor air pollution.” Most all committee members reiterated their “love for gas stoves” as a preamble to their statements, regardless of their stance on the proposal. However, this line of questioning is not fully proven given a new literature review on natural gas cooking, which found previous reports drawing conclusions about natural gas and health effects are highly variable and have quality flaws. APGA supported committee staff in preparation for the hearing with information about the safety, reliability, and importance of gas cooking products. We are also actively supporting legislation in the House, introduced by Representative Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), to protect gas-cooking products, the Save our Stoves Act.For questions on this article please contact Josh St. Pierre of APGA staff by phone at 202-470-4262 or by email at email@example.com.
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