Banning gas stoves and your freedom

In September, California’s clean air agency approved a proposal to ban new natural gas-fueled furnaces and water heaters in homes by 2030. Now, the Biden Administration is getting into the act. On February 1, the Department of Energy, under the auspices of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, sought comments on a proposal to ban “gas cooking tops” that have a constant burning pilot light and require that gas stoves and require stoves that have an “active mode, standby mode, and off mode energy use.” This is on the heals of The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) opening up a comment period to set new emission standards which would lead to banning natural gas stoves.

The Department of Energy (DOE) says it will cost the gas stove industry only $183.4 million for the conversion to non-pilot stoves. DOE says “the proposed energy conservation standards for consumer conventional cooking products would save a significant amount of energy.” Overall, DOE estimates that over 30 years, the energy saved would be about 3.4 percent. That doesn’t seem really significant. Some of the math in the DOE proposal seems suspect, such as a $1.71 billion savings to a value of operating cost savings verse increased product and installation costs for consumers over a 30 year period. DOE, however, says the climate, health, and social costs benefits are estimated at $2.8 billion, but admits there is no single central point estimate or ability to “monetize” estimates for such effects. In other words, DOE is guessing.

The standards DOE is proposing would eliminate about half of the gas stoves in America. DOE “estimates that nearly half of the total gas cooking top market currently achieves EL 2 and therefore would not be impacted by the proposed standard, if finalized.”According to the DOE’s math, eliminating half of the gas stoves in America for a 3.4 percent energy savings over 30 years is worth making citizens buy new stoves—costing at the current rate about $1,000 each. But not to worry. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes $4.5 billion of your taxpayer money in rebates of up to $840 for an electric stove or other electric appliances, and up to $500 to help cover the costs of converting to electric from gas. That’s how serious this Administration is about banning gas stoves.

This is an example of how non-elected bureaucratic agencies limit, frustrate, and molest your freedoms. They do it every day in most every agency. It wasn’t long ago that the government was saying that natural gas/propane was the environmentally acceptable alternative to oil. Now it’s all about electric and green energy—or more honestly wealth redistribution at the expense of freedom. Gas stoves, a small thing with big implications. This ban is sort of like the mustard seed in Christ’s parable in Matthew 13:32, “which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Instead of faith, however, this seed is one of tyranny the birds nesting in it are vultures of liberty.

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Bill Wilson