Democratic AGs lean into gas stove issue, urge rules and warn people about health risks

May 9, 2023 – Blue-state attorneys general are prodding the Consumer Product Safety Commission to increase warnings about potential health dangers from gas stoves and explore new regulations.

A new letter signed by District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb and Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown, among others, join a debate about restrictions on gas appliances and whether the Biden administration should crack down or if new regulation would amount to nanny-state overreach.

The state officials want the commission to collect more information about potential hazards from gas stoves. The AGs from 10 states and New York City pointed to studies suggesting the release of nitrogen dioxide linked to asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, among other health problems.

Once the research is done, the states “urge the CPSC to develop voluntary standards or mandatory regulations that will reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants from gas stoves that degrade indoor air quality in U.S. households,” the letter, dated Monday, said. “In addition, the states urge the CPSC to increase consumer awareness of the harms posed by gas stoves through more informative warning labels and public education.”

Efforts to ban natural gas hookups in new construction have sparked arguments at the local level about the appropriate reach of government.

In January, the CPSC walked back a claim made by one of its members that the Biden administration was weighing a ban on new natural gas stoves over health concerns following fierce rebuke from politicians and the energy industry.

Republican leaders are moving to prohibit natural-gas bans. Industry groups have rebutted claims about harm from gas stoves, saying the type of food cooked, specifically meat and cooking oil, has a bigger influence on indoor air quality than whether a gas or electric stove is used.

Democratic attorneys general, meanwhile, say their concerns are well-founded and they would like to see minimum standards and guidance on proper ventilation, saying minority and low-income populations are hurt the most.

By Tom Howell, Jr., The Washington Times
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