There’s no end to it, but then again, when you have a government as big as the one we have, such instances are not surprising.
The latest issue that has caused a national uproar was the comment last week by Richard Trumka Jr, a commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. He told Bloomberg that the CPSC would consider a ban on natural gas stoves and other such appliances in an effort to reduce indoor air-quality hazards.
Barely had his comments hit the national news, then a storm of controversy arose. Not only was there criticism from the entire gas industry but also from lawmakers and consumer groups.
The head of the CPSC, Alexander Hoehn-Saric, said the agency has no plans to ban gas stoves, although the commission is researching emissions from the appliances in an effort to deal with indoor air-quality hazards.
Natural gas is used in about 40% of American homes –-for cooking and heating. Scientists say that gas stoves emit air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter. The EPA and the World Health Organization say that these pollutants are unsafe and contribute to respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular problems and even cancer. The latest addition to the list of dangers is that the emissions contribute to increased childhood asthma cases.
Just last month, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reported that more than 12% of childhood asthma cases are attributed to gas stoves.
Talk about putting together a list of dangers that are sure to raise the hackles of parents!
Trumka said the appliances are a ‘hidden hazard” and a ban is something that is “on the table among options.” The agency is set to open public comments on the issue later this winter.
The pushback response was enormous. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted, “The Biden administration is once again going to extreme lengths to appease Green New Deal fanatics.”
The gas and appliance industries also reacted to the statement and the implicit threat to their livelihood. They have good reason to be concerned. More and more new residential and commercial construction projects in California and other states have built-in restrictions on the use of natural gas for heating and cooking.
According to SPUR, a San Francisco nonprofit consumer protection organization, more than 50 California cities and counties are restricting new gas installations, and some, like San Jose, Berkeley and Oakland, are banning new gas hookups entirely. In Santa Cruz, they’re only allowed in restaurants.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, responded in a statement: “I can tell you the last thing that would ever leave my house is the gas stove we cook on. If this is the greatest concern that the Consumer Products Safety Commission has for American consumers, I think we need to reevaluate the commission.”
He may be right.
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