Gas Stoves and the Law of Unintended Consequences
Biden Administration CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said last month that a ban on future gas-stove installations in homes and high-rises is on the table. “We need to be talking about regulating gas stoves, whether that’s drastically improving emissions or banning gas stoves entirely,” Trumka said. “And I think we ought to keep that possibility of a ban in mind because it’s a powerful tool in our tool belt, and it’s a real possibility here.” (Per a Jan. 12, 2023, New York Post story).
Democrat leaders in major cities across the country are moving forward with bans on natural gas stoves without regard to available infrastructure, the requirements of a reasonable transition, and the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Sensing a political catastrophe from the public response to this policy insanity, the Biden Administration quickly walked back the comments of its commissioner saying it had no plans to impose such a ban on the federal level. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, various elected officials have responded in opposition to the proposed edict:
If the “maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands,” tweeted Ronny Jackson, a Republican Texas member of the U.S. House and a former White House doctor.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted Monday “the Biden Administration is once again going to extreme lengths to appease Green New Deal fanatics — they’re considering a national ban on gas stoves … The federal government has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner.” Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, posted “I can tell you the last thing that would ever leave my house is the gas stove that we cook on.”
The American Gas Association responded by stating “any efforts to ban highly efficient natural gas stoves should raise alarm bells for the 187 million Americans who depend on this essential fuel every day pointing out that ‘natural gas utilities have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 69% since 1990 and help homeowners reduce their carbon emissions 1.2% every year.’”
Breitbart News observed that:
“Anyone aware of the past knows how absurd this latest hysteria is. In a few short decades, we have gone from natural gas burning 24/7 in homes by way of pilot lights to natural gas only burning when the appliance is in use. Additionally, most natural gas appliances are vented in some way, so there are no fumes at all.”
A Harvard Medical School study by Wynne Armand published Sept. 7, 2022, stated, “gas stoves affect air quality inside and outside your home, circulating pollutants that raise risk for asthma and other illnesses.” But further in the same study, Armand wrote that “observational studies can’t prove that cooking with gas is the direct cause of asthma.” That important detail is, unsurprisingly, being ignored by the national “media” and radical green groups.
The important point is that common sense and rationality have prevailed for the moment.
The lesson to take from this is, as stated by Gerard Baker of the Wall Street Journal, to remember this victory when future Leftist lunacies arise.
“The small triumph chalked up for common sense and normality is so rare these days it’s worth celebrating in itself. It’s also a useful reminder that the inexorable march of government mandates, the endless effort by our rulers to enforce their “scientifically” unchallengeable dogma on what they see as a population of ignorant drudges, can be resisted.” (Emphasis added).
I close with a note of warning from Germany and the Rule of Unintended Consequences to the Climate Religionists. Numerous news reports reveal that in Germany, the Worship at the Altar of Climate Change has been demoted by the desperate effort to keep the lights on and the heat flowing into the homes of Germans.
In order to provide power and heat to its citizens during this bitter German winter, the German government recently announced that Germany was reopening five power plants that burn lignite, a highly polluting type of coal which energy experts tell us produces more carbon dioxide than any other form of generation.
The German government has also authorized that a large wind power project be dismantled to provide space for the expansion of a mine that produces lignite.
And this is happening while China reportedly builds one new coal plant unit per week.
We are nowhere near complete reliance on renewables, and we must diligently push back on this kind of policy insanity.