- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Legislation introduced Tuesday would help D.C. residents get rid of their gas stoves in favor of electric ones.

Introduced by Council Member Charles Allen, the Healthy Homes and Residential Electrification Amendment Act of 2023 would use funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to help lower-income households install electric stoves for free. 

Under the bill, households making less than $80,000 a year would be able to get a new stove installed for them. The bill also would prohibit the D.C. Housing Authority from installing gas stoves and heating systems when renovating public housing. 

The move to shift the District away from gas-burning stoves comes after the Biden administration had to backtrack on a statement by Consumer Product Safety Commission member Richard Trump Jr. that the agency was considering banning gas stoves because a study showed they cause more than 12% of all childhood asthma and are harmful to the environment.

However, that figure was derived from an analysis of past studies, including one that tested gas stove emissions after sealing a room with plastic wrap to eliminate all ventilation. The report was co-authored by the Rocky Mountain Institute, which seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030.

Other data shows no correlation at all between gas stoves and asthma.

“A lot of the code changes occurring at the local level are being informed by controversial research on gas appliances and health that is not based on a real-world environment,” said Steve Everley, managing director of the energy and natural resources sector at FTI Consulting. “There is a considerable body of research showing that indoor air quality issues are driven more by the act of cooking itself and that the most practical solution is using range hoods and other ventilation as manufacturers already recommend regardless of which type of stove you’re using.”

Climate activists have jumped on the issue and are lobbying for states, local governments and the federal government to ban fossil fuels and fully electrify. The Sierra Club’s  D.C. chapter is working with Mr. Allen on the bill. 

“If the District is going to hit its own goals for reducing carbon emissions and mitigate the worst-case scenarios for climate change, completing the switch away from natural gas must happen at the household level very quickly,” a statement from Mr. Allen read. 

Advocates of fossil fuel point out that electric grids rely mostly on coal, natural gas and nuclear power and derive only a small portion from renewable energy such as wind and solar. That means switching to electric stoves isn’t really producing green energy.

The legislation comes during a heated nationwide debate over gas stoves, with the issue being divided mostly across party lines. 

Once word got out last month that the Biden administration was considering banning gas stoves, Republican lawmakers quickly drafted legislation to block such a ban. Conservatives say a ban on gas stoves would seriously limit consumer choice and is extreme government overreach. 

“They always go back — and you can remember from COVID and everything else —  they’ll say there’s some kind of science behind it that justifies it. There’s no valid, legitimate science that proves that or that suggests that this type of cooking is any more hazardous than any other type of cooking,” Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson told Newsmax last month.

Susan Ferrechio contributed to this report.



• Vaughn Cockayne can be reached at vcockayne@washingtontimes.com.

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