Days after a rare bipartisan moment in which Congress voted to, a fierce and politically charged debate begins this week over the future of gas-fueled stoves in American homes.
The House Rules Committee began proceedings Monday, ahead of a vote later this week on the "Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act," which would prohibit the federal government from banning the use of gas stoves. The legislation is expected to pass the House, despite assurances from federal regulators that they have no plans or intention to issue a ban on gas stoves.
have emerged as unexpected cultural and wedge issue in recent months. The legislative deliberations this week are expected to be infused with heated and contentious rhetoric. Democrats offered a series of amendments, some of which mock the legislation and the decision by House Republicans to prioritize the bill.
A pair of amendments initially drafted by Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat from Florida, appeared to lampoon the legislation. One such amendment called for a formal "sense of Congress that gas stoves merit consideration for an honorary statue in Statuary Hall" at the Capitol. Another of Moskowitz's initial amendments called for a "czar position" within the Department of Energy called the "Supreme Allied Gas Commander to police the use and sale of gas stoves."
During a Monday evening House Rules Committee hearing, Moskowitz slammed the prioritization legislation and said sponsors could change the name of the bill to "Stoves over gun violence act."
Moskowitz told CBS News, "I'm not hearing about this issue back home. No one wants to ban gas stoves. Neither does the Biden administration. This is totally ridiculous."
The legislation, which was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was championed by House members who cited proposed restrictions on gas stoves in areas in California. A congressional report on the bill said, "A ban on gas stoves would hamper choice in the marketplace and could have adverse consequences for buyers who may seek this feature out of preference or for cost reasons. Media reports have also covered conflicting messages sent by cities and counties over whether there is an actual hazard."
A Rules Committee report on the "Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act" said a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission had expressed support for tighter regulations on the stoves. The report also cited a private study and report that raised questions about whether gas stoves could lead to an increase in indoor air pollutants.
At the Monday hearing of the House Rules Committee, Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican of Oklahoma, said, "The White House wants to limit your ability to purchase and use gas stoves." Cole added, "Natural gas is used to heat just over half of the homes in my state, and just over a third of Oklahoma residents use a gas stove to cook at home. My constituents are right to worry about the Biden administration's efforts to limit access to gas stoves."
In a statement to CBS News, Alex Hoehn-Saric, the chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said, "This bill is unnecessary — the CPSC is not banning gas stoves. However, CPSC's ability to set standards addressing gas stove safety hazards related to tip-overs, gas leaks, and fire hazards could be hampered by the legislation, which would undermine CPSC's mission to keep Americans safe."
A Department of Energy spokesperson also denied it was considering a gas stove ban, telling CBS News, "The Department of Energy is not proposing to ban gas cooking products. Congress and a court consent decree require the Department to conduct an energy efficiency rulemaking on gas and electric cooktops by January 2024. When you look past the misleading rhetoric, you'll see that these proposals are intended for nothing more than increasing energy efficiency and promoting innovation, without sacrificing the reliability and performance that Americans have come to expect."
In an April 2023 op-ed, Rep. Dan Newhouse, Republican of Washington, criticized the Biden administration's proposals. Newhouse wrote, "The U.S. Department of Energy proposed an "energy efficiency standard" for gas cooking products. For those who are unaware, this is a blatant backdoor attempt to ban gas appliances — at least half of gas stove models sold in the United States today would not comply with this regulation."
A debate and vote on the House legislation is expected Wednesday.
The Senate is not expected to take up the legislation.
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