By Nick Pope
The Biden administration maintains that it is not attempting to ban gas stoves, but its spending on building electrification programs indicates that it may be able to effectively phase out gas stoves by helping local governments ban gas hookups in new buildings.
The Department of Energy (DOE) will spend $225 million to help state and local governments adopt building codes that are in line with its electrification push, according to its website. The push to achieve widespread building and appliance electrification could induce a de facto gas stove ban for new buildings by eventually phasing out new gas hookups, a policy pursued in several Democrat-controlled jurisdictions.
“Jurisdictions have tried to ban gas hookups, and they have lost in court,” Steve Milloy, senior legal fellow for the Energy & Environment Legal Institute and former Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team member, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “They’re not going to stop, they don’t care what the courts say and they are going to try to bulldoze their way to policy objectives.”
The DOE is also poised to spend $46 million to “help advance cost-effective solutions to successfully electrify” residential and commercial buildings, according to its website.
“The administration is committed to ensuring that Americans have access to safe and efficient products and can make smart consumer choices based on independent safety information and data-driven efficiency standards that save families money,” a spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency told the DCNF. “The administration has been clear that it does not support any attempt to ban the use of gas stoves.”
Berkeley, California, tried to roll out its own version of a gas stove ban, which the DOE moved to support in court, according to E&E News. Once an appeals court overturned the ban, the Department of Justice intervened to try to reinstate the ban in June.
The mayor of Eugene, Oregon, expressly thanked the federal government for funding of city’s building electrification push, according to E&E News.
New York state passed a law in May that will ban new gas hookups, effective as early as 2026 for shorter buildings. Boston has banned the use of fossil fuels in municipal buildings, and Democratic Mayor Michelle Wu reportedly has her sights set on doing the same for new residential buildings, according to the Boston Herald.
“Claims that the federal government is banning gas stoves are absurd,” according to the DOE, which refers to the assertion as a “myth.”
The Inflation Reduction Act, President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill, features $1 billion to electrify federal buildings across the country, according to E&E News.
“Regulations can be appropriate at the margin, but the government can’t just ban technologies,” Milloy told the DCNF. “Their agenda is all they care about, not what’s good for consumers.”
The DOE has introduced energy efficiency measures for several appliances to push manufacturers toward electric models, which tend to have higher up-front costs than fossil fuel-powered models, according to DirectEnergy.
“Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said of a prospective gas stove ban in a January interview with Bloomberg News.
Neither the DOE nor the White House responded immediately to requests for comment.
Nick Pope is a contributor at The Daily Caller.
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