Richard Trumka, Jr., a Commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), commented during an interview with Bloomberg in early January, that a gas stove ban is “on the table.” The statement sparked rumors that the federal government might outlaw gas stoves.1 While Commissioner Trumka’s comments were not made on the Commission’s behalf and CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric attempted to clarify that the Commission had no plans to ban gas stoves, questions about the Commission’s intentions and potential overreach are still simmering.2
After his initial comments, Commissioner Trumka told CNN “everything’s on the table,” but noted that any CPSC action and any new regulations on gas stoves would only apply to new products.3 Recent studies indicating that gas stoves may pose serious health hazards may have prompted Commissioner Trumka’s comments.4 Indeed, Commissioner Trumka told CNN that the CPSC is “still gathering information"5 and cited a new study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that found links between indoor gas stove usage and asthma in children.6 While not conclusive, this study (and others like it) have seemingly piqued the Commission’s interest, and the CPSC continues to consider the issue. It also anticipates soliciting public feedback on the issue in the spring.7
The influx of conflicting commentary has left consumers wondering if the CPSC will actually ban gas stoves and some are even asking broader questions about whether the Commission has the Constitutional authority to enact such a ban.8 Some industry actors are taking the opportunity to encourage consumers to switch from gas to electric and to pitch potential “clean technology” investors.9 Some conservative members of Congress and industry organizations have voiced opposition10 to which other lawmakers and commentators responded. For example, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-R) tweeted—“I’ll NEVER give up my gas stove. If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands. COME AND TAKE IT!!” In response, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D) cited an article on the potential health risks of gas stove emissions. She wrote, “Did you know that ongoing exposure to NO2 from gas stoves is linked to reduced cognitive performance?"11 Even the White House weighed in on the issue during a press briefing, stating that President Biden does not support a gas stove ban.12
Ultimately, it does not appear that the CPSC intends to ban gas stoves. That being said, the Commission is researching the potential hazards of gas stove emissions and looking for ways to improve air quality in the home. What will come of these efforts remains to be seen. But, as we previously wrote,13 the CPSC seems focused on the potential hazards in consumers’ homes, especially those related to everyday products, so stricter regulations and scrutiny should be expected.
1 See, e.g., Dominic Pino, The Consumer Product Safety Commission Is Out of Control, National Review Capital Matters (Jan. 16, 2023), David Jordan, After backlash, safety commission says gas stove ban unlikely, Roll Call (Jan. 11, 2023), https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/01/the-consumer-product-safety-commission-is-out-of-control/; https://rollcall.com/2023/01/11/after-backlash-safety-commission-says-gas-stove-ban-unlikely/.
2 See, e.g., Matt Egan, We’re not taking away your gas stove, regulator tells CNN, CNN (Jan. 11, 2023), https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/11/business/gas-stoves-trumka; David Iaconangelo, 4 things to know about the gas stove frenzy, POLITICO (Jan. 14, 2023), https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/14/gas-stove-firestorm-00077760; The Editorial Board, Biden Is Coming for Your Gas Stove, Wall Street Journal (Jan. 10, 2023), https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-is-coming-for-your-gas-stove-consumer-product-safety-commission-richard-trumka-environmental-protection-agency-11673303864; American Gas Association, AGA Statement on the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Report (Jan. 10, 2023), https://www.aga.org/news/news-releases/aga-statement-on-the-international-journal-of-environmental-research-and-public-health-report/.
4 David Watsky, Two Shocking Studies That Likely Sparked a Gas Stove Ban Debate, CNET (Jan. 15, 2023), https://www.cnet.com/home/kitchen-and-household/studies-show-gas-stoves-are-dangerous/.
5 Ramishah Maruf, A US federal agency is considering a ban on gas stoves, CNN (Jan. 11, 2023), https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/09/business/gas-stove-ban-federal-agency/index.html.
7 Statement of Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric Regarding Gas Stoves, CPSC (Jan. 11, 2023), https://www.cpsc.gov/About-CPSC/Chairman/Alexander-Hoehn-Saric/Statement/Statement-of-Chair-Alexander-Hoehn-Saric-Regarding-Gas-Stoves.
9 See, e.g., Q.ai, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Considers A Ban On New Gas Stoves – How to Get Cash To Switch To Electric, Forbes (Jan. 18, 2023), https://www.forbes.com/sites/qai/2023/01/18/us-consumer-product-safety-commission-considers-a-ban-on-new-gas-stoveshow-to-get-cash-to-switch-to-electric/?sh=3ef05d0c6dd5.
11 @AOC, Twitter (Jan. 10, 2023, 6:41 PM & 6:43 PM), https://twitter.com/AOC.
12 Maegan Vazquez, Biden not in favor of ban on gas stoves, White House says, CNN (Jan. 11, 2023), https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/11/politics/biden-gas-stoves/index.html.
13 Erik Swanholt, Kristin McGaver Sikora, & Evan Hamling, CPSC Focuses on Child Safety in the Home (Jan. 23, 2023), https://www.foley.com/en/insights/publications/2023/01/cpsc-focuses-child-safety-home.