Lawmaker Questions Top Official Over Proposed Gas Stove Ban

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jul 20, 2023 - 07:05 PM

Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A top Biden administration official behind the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed regulatory crackdown on gas stoves while encouraging the adoption of their electric counterparts admitted in Congressional testimony Tuesday that she doesn’t know basic facts about installing electric stoves in homes.

Flames burn on a natural gas-burning stove in Chicago on Jan. 12, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Geraldine Richmond, the Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science and Innovation, on Tuesday testified before the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs during a hearing called “Cancelling Consumer Choice: Examining the Biden Administration’s Regulatory Assault on Americans’ Home Appliances.”

During the hearing, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) addressed Ms. Richmond in the context of a DOE notice of proposed federal rulemaking unveiled in February that would allow the agency to set new efficiency and conservation standards for home appliances, including gas stoves.

The proposed rule (pdf), which is meant to reduce emissions from household appliances, would impact at least half of new gas stove models sold in the United States and make most of the existing ones on the market non-compliant, according to Republicans on the Subcommittee.

‘Not a Ban’?

During the hearing, Mr. Perry disputed Democrat claims that the DOE rule shouldn’t be referred to as a gas stove ban.

“I don’t know what kind of gas stove you have in your house…and to the gentlelady on the other side of the aisle, she says it’s not a ban [but] according to my figures, 4 percent of current gas stovetops available on the market today meet the rule, which means that 96 percent of them don’t,” Mr. Perry said.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on May 30, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

The Republican lawmaker then said that many people on lower incomes wouldn’t be able to afford a new gas stove compliant with the new rules, and so would opt for an electric stove but pointed out that installing one could be costly.

If you’re not making a lot of money, you can’t afford the expensive one that probably will meet it, so you’ve got to try and buy the other one,” he said, joking that he’s glad the DOE is getting people to save money by “forcing them to spend a bunch of money.”

Mr. Perry continued by saying, “if you have gas stove in your home right now, there’s a gas line coming to it and probably a 110 [electrical] connection.”

“Do you know what it takes to put an electric stove in your home? Do you have any idea?” he then asked.

“No, I don’t, but…” Ms. Richmond replied, and before she could elaborate, Mr. Perry cut her off.

“Here, I do! You got to run a 220 line. Which means you’re going to probably have to get an electrician because unless you know how to do that yourself, you’re playing with potentially losing your life and electrocuting yourself.

“You’re going to have to hire someone to come in and drill holes in your floor and pull wire to the panel and hook that whole thing up,” he added before asking whether Ms. Richmond had included installation costs for a new electrical line for an electric stove in the DOE’s estimated efficiency savings.

Mr. Perry added that such installation costs would be especially burdensome “for poor people, who are just happy to have a gas stove.”

Ms. Richmond replied by saying that the administration isn’t looking to force anyone to replace their existing stove with an electric one, prompting Mr. Perry to argue that when a person’s existing stove breaks down, they would be forced to buy a more expensive one that complies with the new rules.

We’re strongly in favor of consumer choice,” Ms. Richmond began to say, with Mr. Perry interjecting: “Apparently not!”

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