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The debate over gas stoves has resurfaced as the Energy Department proposes new standards.

The Energy Department re-ignited the gas stove debate on Wednesday by proposing new efficiency standards for consumer cooking appliances.

The proposal comes just weeks after a consumer safety official at another agency sparked outrage among Republicans and some Democrats by suggesting that new gas stoves be banned.

The proposed energy-efficiency standards would require both gas and electric stoves to meet certain efficiency thresholds. New standards for gas and electric ovens are also proposed in the proposal.

“The Department of Energy is proposing efficiency standards for gas and electric cooktops, as required by Congress — we are not proposing bans on either,” a department spokesperson said in a statement. “The proposed standards would not go into effect until 2027 and cumulatively save the nation up to $1.7 billion. Every major manufacturer has products that meet or exceed today’s requirements.”

According to the proposal, the department “tentatively concluded” that the proposed standards represented meaningful gains and were “technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in significant energy conservation.”

It also stated that the proposed changes would aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions associated with cooking appliances.

The standards would be a departure from current regulations, which prohibit continuous burning pilot lights in gas stoves but do not limit energy consumption.
Last month, Consumer Product Safety Commission member Richard Trumka Jr. drew the ire of Republican lawmakers when he suggested in an interview with Bloomberg News that gas stoves, which he called a “hidden hazard” in American homes, should be banned. A commission spokesperson later clarified that there was no official proposal.

Republicans seized on Trumka’s remarks, a Biden nominee, and claimed that the Biden administration and government bureaucrats were after Americans’ stoves. In response to the uproar, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that President Joe Biden opposes banning gas stoves.

According to the Energy Department, the proposed conservation standards would save a “significant amount” of energy overall, resulting in estimated national savings of “the equivalent of 19 million residential homes’ electricity use in one year.”

If they are adopted, the standards will apply to products manufactured or imported into the United States three years after the new rules are published.

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