Senators oppose gas stove ban, press agency for clarification

Credit: Sen. Cindy-Hyde Smith news release

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) have expressed their strong opposition to a suggested federal ban on gas stoves and pressed the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for clarification of the agency’s regulatory outlook.

Wicker and Hyde-Smith are among 10 Senators who wrote to CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric to express opposition to banning gas ranges, a notion which has support within the agency.  The letter requests information on potential CPSC regulation of gas stoves.

“We write to express our strong opposition to reporting that certain members of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may seek an outright ban on gas ranges and stoves,” the Senators wrote.  “We were pleased to see your statement from January 11, 2023, that you are ‘not looking to ban gas stoves’ at this time.  However, given the uncertainties that Commissioner Trumka’s comments have created, it is our hope that by getting additional information, we can better understand how the CPSC plans to move forward on this issue.”

Noting that more than a third of U.S. households use gas stoves, the Senators said a ban would likely lead to higher utility costs for consumers and expose them to the higher risk of cooking fires associated with electric ranges.

“Like the CPSC, our desire is to ensure that consumer products are as safe as possible,” the Senators wrote.  “However, we remain concerned about regulatory overreach from federal agencies.”

“Rather than pursuing this outright ban, we believe it would be most appropriate for the CPSC to gather additional information on the scope of the problem and, if appropriate, work with manufacturers to ensure that these stoves are as safe as possible,” they continued.

U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) led the letter, which was also signed by Senators James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa.).

Read a copy of the letter below or here:

Dear Chair Hoehn-Saric,

We write to express our strong opposition to reporting that certain members of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may seek an outright ban on gas ranges and stoves.  We also request additional information about the CPSC’s plans regarding this proposed action.  On January 9, 2023, Bloomberg published an article outlining Commissioner Trumka’s desire to see gas stoves banned.   Since that time, our offices have fielded numerous calls from concerned constituents worried that they may not be able to purchase a new gas stove for their home moving forward.  We were pleased to see your statement from January 11, 2023, that you are “not looking to ban gas stoves” at this time.  However, given the uncertainties that Commissioner Trumka’s comments have created, it is our hope that by getting additional information, we can better understand how the CPSC plans to move forward on this issue.

According to the Energy Information Administration, over one-third of U.S. households use gas stoves.  Consumers have chosen their home appliances based on numerous factors, including upfront price, operating costs, maintenance costs, and convenience.  Gas stoves tend to result in lower utility bills than their electric counterparts.  Gas stoves are also generally more durable, with less parts being susceptible to breakages or other defects.  A ban on these stoves would therefore likely result in higher utility bills, disproportionately affecting low-income populations.  Additionally, a 2020 report from the National Fire Protection Association found that “households that used electric ranges showed a higher risk of cooking fires and associated losses than those using gas ranges.”

Like the CPSC, our desire is to ensure that consumer products are as safe as possible.  Home appliances are some of the most expensive purchases that our constituents make each year, and those products must be designed first and foremost with safety in mind. However, we remain concerned about regulatory overreach from federal agencies.  By denying consumers choice, the CPSC deciding to ban gas stoves would distort the marketplace and ultimately raise costs for consumers.  Rather than pursuing this outright ban, we believe it would be most appropriate for the CPSC to gather additional information on the scope of the problem and, if appropriate, work with manufacturers to ensure that these stoves are as safe as possible.

We appreciate the work that CPSC does on behalf of American consumers.  We respectfully request a response to this letter by January 27, 2023, that outlines how the CPSC plans to move forward in regards to potential regulations of gas stoves.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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