Big Tent Ideas

DAVID BLACKMON: Dems Roar Right Past Gas Stove Ban For Even Bigger Goals

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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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House Republicans are set to take up a pair of bills this week designed to prohibit the Biden administration’s regulators from moving further to ban gas stoves, a move that has Democrats like Florida Rep. Jared Moskowitz lashing out with claims no such efforts to ban the stoves really exists.

In an interview, Moskowitz told CBS News, “No one wants to ban gas stoves. Neither does the Biden administration. This is totally ridiculous.” But the public record shows otherwise. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: Is Texas Turning Its Back On Renewable Energy?)

One of the most reliable rules of thumb in recent years holds that any warning about coming government actions dismissed by left-leaning politicians and their media supporters as a “conspiracy theory” will become an accepted fact within about 3-6 months. Nowhere has this rule played out more reliably in the energy space than in this ongoing debate about gas stoves and whether the government is seeking to ban them.

When Consumer Products Safety Commissioner (CPSC) Rich Trumka began talking late last year about mounting an effort to regulate gas stoves on specious public health reasons, I and others who warned that the real goal for the Biden administration and Democratic governors like Kathy Hochul in New York and Gavin Newsom in California was an outright ban on the appliances were even labeled as “conspiracy theorists.”

Six months later, efforts to ban the stoves at the federal and state levels are now in full bloom.

Such posturing from Democrats like Moskowitz aside, the fact is that the Biden Department of Energy has already enacted an efficiency regulation it admits would ban half of all gas stove models currently on the market, and the CPSC is looking for ways to hammer even more from existence or render them too expensive to purchase. Long Beach and other California cities have now banned natural gas hookups in new buildings, and state regulators there and in Colorado are considering bans of their own.

New York City has already enacted a similar partial ban, and Hochul and her fellow Democrats in Albany are advancing that they call the HEAT Act, which would also ban natural gas hookups in any new building in the state. In a recent rally in support of that bill, New York Democratic Sen. Liz Kreuger admitted that her legislation is about even more than simply banning appliances, but actually about her party’s more over-arching goal of eliminating natural gas usage and infrastructure altogether.

“The entire system of gas infrastructure is old, and the repairs are costing us hundreds of millions of dollars more,” the senator said. “Why? We’re not even supposed to be using gas. We all know that.”

Krueger continued her line of thought in a later interview with a local news show. “We’re not really concerned that this will be shifted to other ratepayers,” she said. “We are much more concerned that the cost of keeping a functioning modern gas pipe system will actually cost hundreds of billions of dollars that will fall on everyone.” This is, of course, nonsense, and the alternatives offered by advocates of banning natural gas have consistently proven to be unreliable and far more expensive than the costs of maintaining and improving current existing infrastructure.

But Sen. Krueger is far from a lone voice. On Monday, Bloomberg quoted Michael Hernandez, New York policy director of Rewiring America, as admitting the HEAT Act lays the ground work for eliminating natural gas altogether. “If there’s a ban on fossil fuels in new construction, then it makes sense to also say, ‘Let’s stop building our gas infrastructure,’” he said.

It is interesting to note that, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas delivered 46% of the state’s electricity in 2022. If this is all just a conspiracy theory, it’s a very big one.

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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