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DAVID BLACKMON: How One Celebrity Chef Exposed The Left’s Hypocrisy On Gas Stoves

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David Blackmon David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
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In one brief decision last week week, city officials in Palo Alto, California, placed the hypocrisy of the local, state and national efforts to ban gas stoves on full display for all to see.

In a settlement with the developers of a local strip mall that would feature a fine restaurant by famed Chef José Andrés, the city granted an exception to its 2022 ordinance banning the installation of gas stoves in new commercial and residential developments.

The restaurant in question, a Mediterranean-style fine dining establishment to be called Zaytinya, relies on “traditional cooking methods that require gas appliances to achieve its signature, complex flavors,” Anna Shimko, a lawyer representing the group that owns the shopping center, told local reporters. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: Manchin’s Newest Bill Won’t Make The Road To Green Energy Utopia Any Easier)

“Without a gas connection and appliances, Zaytinya would be forced to alter its signature five-star menu, which it is unwilling to do,” Shimko wrote. “Zaytinya cannot compromise the caliber of its cuisine and reputation, and if SPG cannot provide gas in Building EE, Zaytinya will likely choose not to locate within the City. This would be an unfortunate loss for the residents of Palo Alto, as well as a compensable loss for which SPG would be forced to seek redress.”

Shimko’s contentions should come as no surprise to anyone who understands the requirements of fine food preparation. There are good reasons why natural gas stoves are the featured kitchen appliance in almost every fine restaurant and pretty much every cooking show on cable and broadcast television: They are vastly superior to their electric counterparts in pretty much every respect.

You are not going to see the contestants on “Top Chef” waiting for the heating-up process of an electric stove to consume a good portion of their limited time to prepare their meals for the celebrity judges.

Even the officials of Palo Alto understand this and are willing to make exceptions to their authoritarian, command-and-control Soviet-style regulatory actions in order to accommodate this reality. The alternative to issuing the exception would be to face a potentially costly lawsuit and a likely decision by Chef Andrés and his company to seek another location.

The city also faced the reality that the developers, Simon Property Group (SPG) had applied for the permit to install the natural gas line to the facility in question in 2019, well before the city adopted its draconian regulation. But other than this exception for Chef Andrés, the city says it plans to stand firmly behind the ordinance in other instances that might exist, referring to this exception as a “one-off situation” in a statement issued May 16.

“Building electrification is critical to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” the statement continues. “Electric appliances and building systems provide clean and healthy environments in homes and businesses and in many respects, the new technologies perform better than the gas-emitting appliances they are replacing.”

So, famous chefs can get an exception, but all you little people need not apply.

The latter part of the city’s statement is nonsense. Electric stoves simply do not perform better than gas stoves in any key respect.

They are far more costly, to the extent that the Department of Energy felt the need to announce the creation of a new electric-stove subsidy fund that offers $840 rebates to any applicant who goes to the expense of replacing an existing gas stove with an electric, induction stove. Gas stoves are much more efficient than their electric counterparts in terms of overall energy efficiency, suffer defects and breakdowns far less frequently and perhaps most importantly in the midst of California’s famously unreliable power grid, continue to function when there’s a power blackout.

In the interest of full disclosure, José Andrés is my favorite chef working today and his Las Vegas restaurant Jaleo is my and my wife’s favorite restaurant anywhere. So, I’m happy he was able to obtain his exception to this ridiculous ordinance.

I would also like to publicly thank him here for so ably exposing the rank hypocrisy of the authoritarian officials who seek to ban gas stoves for everyone else.

David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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