The news that the federal government is seriously considering a ban on the sale of gas stoves caught many normal Americans off guard. It shouldn’t have. Nor should they believe it when a regulator says they won’t actually ever ban the thing.
In recent decades, regulators have wormed their way into every corner of our lives – banning some products, ruining others, and pricing others out of reach of working families – all allegedly for our benefit. The only thing that’s surprising is that they hadn’t targeted gas stoves earlier.
This week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said that gas appliances – used in 40 million U.S. homes and every commercial kitchen on the planet – are in fact a “hidden hazard” that could be banned if they can’t be “made safe.”
A ban, he said, “is a powerful tool in our toolbox and it’s a real possibility here, particularly because there seem to be readily available alternatives already in the market.”
Trumka points to research claiming that gas stoves are linked to childhood asthma. But as National Review points out, the “research” was “funded by RMI, an environmental group with the radical goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 50% within the next seven years,” and it “was not based on any actual scientific research into the effects on the body of having a gas stove in the house during normal use.”
In other words, this is junk science, pure and simple. Yet, instead of attacking this flagrant display of misinformation, the ignoramuses in the mainstream press are all too happy to amplify it.
That’s because the real reason for talking up a federal ban on gas stoves has nothing to do with health and safety. It has everything to do with the climate “crisis.” Climate alarmists want anything that uses fossil fuels banned, which is why woke states such as California and New York already pushing to ban gas appliances in new construction, and why President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars.
On Wednesday, the CPSC tried to walk back Trumka’s comments, with the chairman, Alexander D. Hoehn-Saric, saying that “to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”
That’s cold comfort, so to speak, because Trumka’s comment reveals the regulators’ true mindset, and once this sort of train starts moving there is often no stopping it.
Plus, the regulators are already hip-deep in products they’ve banned or abused in the name of the public good.
They banned incandescent bulbs because they’re not efficient enough for government busybodies. They banned toilets that will properly flush solid matter – because the toilets aren’t allowed to use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
They banned good showerheads in favor of “low-flow” ones because we’re all supposed to cut down on water use.
Constant bureaucratic meddling is why it takes hours for dishwashers to do even an adequate job of washing dishes. It’s why gas cans don’t dispense gasoline properly, creating an entirely new industry of replacement nozzles for the government-approved ones. It’s why every new car looks like every other uninspiring car. (We wrote about this back in July 2019, “How Bureaucrats Ruin Everything From Dishwashers To Gas Cans To Cars.”)
So, reassurances from one bureaucrat that the government isn’t planning to ban gas stoves aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.
If you don’t like the idea of the government banning something incredibly useful, efficient, and safe when used properly, hoping for the best isn’t enough.
Taking back control over our lives and regaining the ability to make choices about the products and services we buy will require taking an ax to the regulatory state. It will require the public putting unrelenting pressure on Congress to take back the unlimited power it’s been handing unelected bureaucrats.
Until that happens, nothing in your home will be safe from the regulatory Leviathan.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board