There is a culture war in the USA over gas stoves

There is a culture war in the USA over gas stoves

LETTER FROM NEW YORK

A man warms his feet over a gas stove on February 16, 2021 in Austin, Texas. A man warms his feet over a gas stove on February 16, 2021 in Austin, Texas. ASHLEY LANDIS/AP

This is the new culture war in the United States, that of gas stoves. Now Republicans are accusing Democrats of wanting to ban good old gas stoves, to the point that Joe Biden had to deny: “The President does not support the ban on gas stoves,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, White House door spokeswoman. Some accuse the law of paranoia, but that’s not entirely unjustified: the US is on a crusade against gas stoves, which 38% of Americans use. The limitation of greenhouse gases – even if 60% of American electricity is of fossil origin – and the protection of health are being questioned.

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A study published on December 21, 2022 by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health laid the groundwork, finding that the effects of gas stoves on children’s asthma are equivalent to those of second-hand smoke. “12.7% of childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use, which is similar to childhood asthma caused by second-hand smoke,” the study authors write, who estimate the figure to be higher in California, Illinois (Chicago) and New York about 20% is York.

The controversy was sparked by two Democrat-elect Rep. Don Beyer (Virginia) and Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey) in December 2022 asking the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate health risks from methane emissions from gas stoves. “It’s a hidden danger,” one of its members, Richard Trumka Jr., replied in an interview with Bloomberg in January. All options are on the table. Products that cannot be secured can be banned. »

“God, guns, gas stoves”

There was a public outcry. The chairman of the commission, Alexander Höhn-Saric, quickly denied: “I am not seeking a ban on gas stoves, and the commission has no procedure for this”, but nothing helped.

Republicans introduced a bill to outlaw bans on gas stoves and are having a blast. “God, Guns, Gas Stove,” tweeted Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan. “The Biden administration is once again doing everything it can to appease Green New Deal fanatics,” Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted. Elected Democrats in fossil-fuel producing states are just as unhappy as West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin: “It’s a recipe for disaster. The FBI doesn’t have to tell American families how to cook their dinner. »

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