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The Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency that regulates consumer goods, is seeking ideas for resolving the risks associated with gas stoves.
One commissioner said in an interview that a ban on stoves could be considered, but the commission chair rebutted that notion, saying the agency is not seeking a ban.
The agency is authorized to ban a product if there is no other reasonable way to protect people from its dangers. But bans and regulations apply only to new products, not items already in people’s homes.
Fox News viewers might think a government agency is cooking up a plan to take away their gas stoves and ovens, after comments from network host Sean Hannity.
"Now, not only is (President Joe) Biden coming for your paycheck, but he's coming for your stove. You heard me right." Hannity said Jan. 9 during his show. "The White House is now attempting to ban all gas ovens and burners, that's like half the country."
The Washington Post reported that 40 million U.S. homes have gas stoves.
Prominent conservatives, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, repeated the claim. So did Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Fox News did not respond to our request for comment. But Hannity's remarks appear to stem from a published interview with a commissioner from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency that regulates consumer goods, which said a ban on gas stoves could be considered.
Hannity’s claim mischaracterized the commissioner's remark and left out important context. Although the commissioner did not rule out the possibility of banning gas stoves, he also did not say a ban was in the works.
Gas stoves emit a poisonous gas when in use, especially in homes with poor ventilation. Several studies have linked emissions from gas stoves with increased health risks. One study found nearly 13% of childhood asthma cases in the U.S. are attributed to gas stove use.
There are also environmental risks. CBS News has reported that a 2022 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology said U.S. gas stoves put 2.6 million tons of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the air annually.
Nevertheless, the commission’s chair, Alexander Hoehn-Saric, a Biden appointee, said in a statement that neither he nor the safety commission is seeking to ban gas kitchen appliances.
The White House also rebuffed Hannity's claim. "The president does not support banning gas stoves," a White House spokesperson told PolitiFact.
Commissioner Rich Trumka Jr. was quoted in a Jan. 9 Bloomberg News article discussing gas stoves’ health risks and how the commission might address them.
"Any option is on the table," said Trumka, also a Biden appointee. "Products that can’t be made safe can be banned."
It wasn’t the first time Trumka mentioned a potential ban. The energy and environmental news organization, E&E News, reported he made a similar statement in December during a webinar hosted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
"I think we ought to keep that possibility of a ban in mind as you follow along, because it’s a powerful tool in our toolbox and it’s a real possibility here, particularly because there seems to be readily available alternatives already on the market," Trumka said.
His comments came months after he had received no support on the issue from his fellow commissioners.
Trumka then proposed a second amendment, which received unanimous support, for the commission to seek public comment on risks associated with gas stoves and possible solutions to address them. The request for information is set to be published by March 1.
When we asked the commission about Trumka’s recent comments, Communications Director Pamela Springs said his position isn’t the agency’s.
Although there are no plans to ban gas kitchen appliances, the commission has the authority to do so. However, that action is considered only when there is no other reasonable way to protect people from the danger an item poses.
Even if products are banned, the commission lacks the power to remove products that are already in consumers’ homes. Bans and regulations apply to manufacturers and sellers.
"Our laws relate to manufacturing, importing, selling, offering for sale and distributing in commerce, not to consumer possession," Springs said.
Trumka repeated that point after backlash from Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala.
"To be clear, CPSC isn't coming for anyone's gas stoves," Trumka tweeted Jan. 9. "Regulations apply to new products."
Thanks for your interest!— Commissioner Rich Trumka Jr. (@TrumkaCPSC) January 9, 2023
To be clear, CPSC isn't coming for anyone's gas stoves. Regulations apply to new products.
For Americans who CHOOSE to switch from gas to electric, there is support available - Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act which includes a $840 rebate. https://t.co/fcmWMSSfE5
Some states and cities have moved to regulate and ban gas stoves in new homes. In April, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed a plan to ban gas hookups in new buildings in the state’s budget. In May, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban most gas appliances in new homes.
But several Republican-led states have passed bills to preemptively prevent a ban on gas hookups in new construction.
Hannity said "the White House is now attempting to ban all gas ovens and burners."
One commissioner from the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in an interview that a ban could be considered. But the commission chair rebutted that notion, saying the agency is not seeking a ban.
The commission is researching health risks related to gas stoves, and will seek the public’s ideas on the issue this year.
We rate Hannity’s statement False.
Phone interview, Pamela Springs, communications director for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Jan. 11, 2023
Email exchange, White House, Jan. 11, 2023
Fox News, Hannity investigates classified docs found at Biden's office, Jan. 10, 2023
Bloomberg, US safety agency to consider ban on gas stoves amid health fears, Jan. 9, 2023
Tweet, Commissioner Rich Trumka Jr., Jan. 9, 2023
Consumer Product Safety Commission, About Us, accessed Jan. 11, 2023
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Operating Plan, Oct. 26, 2022
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Commission meeting minutes, Oct. 26, 2022
Journal of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, 24-Hour nitrogen dioxide concentration is associated with cooking behaviors and an increase in rescue medication use in children with asthma, Aug. 7, 2017
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States, Dec. 21, 2022
Snopes, Is Biden administration banning gas stoves over climate change concerns?, Jan. 11, 2023
The Washington Post, How the humble gas stove became the latest flash point in the culture wars, Jan. 11, 2023
CBS News, Gas stoves are even worse for the climate than previously thought, study shows, Jan. 28, 2022
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