Editorial: The Save Our Gas Stoves Act? That’s GOP pro-fossil-fuel foolishness

Cooking on a gas range at the LA Times Test Kitchen.
There’s been mounting evidence of the health risks of gas stoves, including a recently published study by Stanford University researchers.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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Of all the urgent problems House Republicans could be tackling — gun violence, voting rights, climate change — they are using some of their power to fan the flames of a cultural war over gas stoves.

Last week the GOP-controlled House passed legislation that would prevent the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal money to regulate or ban gas stoves and block the U.S. Energy Department from making gas ranges and ovens less wasteful by setting stricter energy efficiency standards.

The Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act and the Save Our Gas Stoves Act amount to little more than political posturing. Yet the measures show how much Republicans are trying to cling to the polluting fossil fuel technology of the past in a world that is slowly but surely going all-electric.


Turning on one gas stove burner for 45 minutes creates benzene levels in kitchens comparable to breathing in cigarette smoke, which then drifts through your whole house.

June 21, 2023

The legislation purports to respond to a nonexistent problem: The unfounded fear that the feds are trying to seize people’s gas stoves (which they’re not) or ban them (they’re not doing that, either). These bills would needlessly hamper regulators by preventing them from setting standards to keep Americans safe from gas leaks and indoor pollution and saving them money by increasing energy efficiency in the kitchen — as they have done with little controversy for decades for every type of home appliance you can imagine.

These bills aren’t expected to go anywhere, because they’re unlikely to clear the Senate or be signed into law by President Biden. The White House issued a statement opposing the bills, saying they would undermine the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s “ability to make science-based decisions to protect the public” and “block common sense efforts to help Americans cut their energy bills.”

Legislation to force California’s large and public employee pension funds to divest from the top oil and gas companies is a financially prudent move in a world where the impacts of climate change are intensifying.

June 16, 2023

Proponents such as Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) have cast the legislation in “don’t tread on me” terms, to protect “consumer choice” from the Biden administration’s supposed “war against gas stoves.” And it’s disappointing that Californians from both sides of the aisle were among those voting in favor.

California, like other blue states, is heavily reliant on gas for home cooking and heating, but state and local officials are adopting a growing number of policies aimed at electrifying buildings, including measures to ban gas hookups in new construction and phase out sales of gas furnaces and water heaters. Still, targeting stoves remains touchy for regulators, in part because of the success of a decades-long industry disinformation campaign that mythologized methane gas as a “clean” and “natural” fuel.

Republicans seized on gas stoves earlier this year after Richard Trumka Jr., a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, suggested the agency could regulate or even ban gas stoves as a health hazard. The commission was quick to clarify that it was not seeking to ban gas stoves, only asking for public input on their health hazards. And the White House has been clear that President Biden does not support banning gas stoves.

This move is not an entirely hollow gesture because it’s part of a broader GOP-led push to restrict government’s power to protect people from pollution while propping up the fossil fuel industry. It aligns squarely with the interests of oil and gas companies that have successfully blocked efforts by states to ban new gas hookups, improve energy standards and otherwise prevent states and cities from switching to more efficient electric appliances fueled by clean, renewable energy.


There is no federal plan to ban gas stoves. But it is clear that they are harmful sources of indoor air pollution and should be phased out.

Jan. 15, 2023

It’s a transition that is going to happen whether fossil-fuel-supporting politicians like it or not. There’s been mounting evidence of the health risks of gas stoves, including a recently published study by Stanford University researchers who tested them in homes in California and Colorado and found they emit unhealthful levels of benzene, a cancer-causing pollutant, that can linger indoors for hours and reach higher concentrations than in secondhand cigarette smoke. It’s only the latest research to find dangerous levels of health-damaging air pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, inside homes with gas stoves, even when they are turned off.

Republicans are trying to turn what should be a sober, science-based discussion about kitchen appliances into another wedge issue — or as Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio put it earlier this year, “God. Guns. Gas stoves.” But such efforts show they care more about defending the fossil fuel industry than protecting people’s health and lowering utility bills. Those priorities are wildly misplaced and should be laughed out of the chamber.