Gas Stove Battle Reignited as Stacey Abrams, Energy Dept. Support Crackdown
Two-time failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is joining the board of a dark money environmental group dead set on regulating and banning gas-powered stoves. The move comes amid a renewed push from the Biden administration to phase out gas stoves in favor of electric after a severe public backlash tamped down on their efforts in January.
“I’m excited to join Rewiring America to share the benefits of electrification and ensure families get their fair share,” Abrams announced Tuesday. “I look forward to working together as we build the tools that will transform everyday Americans from energy consumers to energy moguls in their own communities.”
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Rewiring America describes itself as a “leading electrification nonprofit focused on electrifying our homes, businesses, and communities.” The group’s CEO put out a statement calling Abrams “a brilliant and visionary organizer who will accelerate our work and expand the audience for the benefits of electrification” before adding that the move was “the most equity-centered climate strategy we have.”
The group is sponsored by the Windward Fund, an arm of the billion-dollar Arabella Advisors dark money network based in D.C.
Abrams later said in an Instagram post that she is joining the group to show how Americans can “choose clean energy without sacrificing our livelihoods or our wallets.” Still, a new rule change proposed by the Department of Energy casts doubt over that claim.
The same day Abrams joined Rewiring America’s counsel, Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-AZ, raised alarm bells over a new rule change proposed by the Department of Energy. Under the proposal, the department would impose strict performance standards on gas stoves, requiring them to use “max-tech.” According to Lesko, 96 percent of gas stoves in America would fall outside the criteria for “max-tech” set by the department.
“To accommodate the DOE’s proposed standards, manufacturers will have to make dramatic design changes that result in smaller burners and longer cooking times,” Lesko wrote in a Washington Examiner op-ed.
According to savings estimates published in the Federal Register in February, the Department of Energy estimated that the new standards would save gas stove owners $21.89 throughout the cooktop’s lifespan.
“[W]hich equates to a savings of just $1.50 per year,” Lesko wrote. “People are unwilling to trade such substantially decreased functionality and features for minuscule savings… Once again, the Biden administration proves it is out of touch with the average American.”
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The gas stove battle first ignited in January when Consumer Product Safety Commissioner and Biden appointee Richard Trumka Jr. gave an interview to Bloomberg in which he described gas stoves as a “hidden hazard.” Trumka expressed a desire to transition away from natural gas-powered stoves, saying in the interview that “any option is on the table” and that “products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
At the time, the White House disavowed the comments in response to immediate and widespread backlash. Now that the controversy has died down, the left seems to be making another go at it.
The latest proposal from the Department of Energy is open to public comment until April 3, 2023. Comments can be submitted at Regulations.gov.
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