Shortly after an article this week quoted a member of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as saying the agency was considering a ban on gas stoves, Republican lawmakers seized on the remarks, claiming President Joe Biden and government bureaucrats were infiltrating American kitchens and dictating meal preparation.
Biden’s “power grab,” according to GOP Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Gas stoves are the next target for the Biden Administration,” he tweeted. “Washington bureaucrats should have no say in how Americans cook their meals.”
Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida, told Biden to “get your hands off our gas stoves!!!!”
Rep. Troy Balderson, R-Ohio, raised the stakes by claiming that Biden’s “weaponization of the federal bureaucracy and faux science” had reached a “fever-pitch.”
“You can always count on Biden to GASLIGHT the American people,” Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina tweeted.
Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton added: “Democrats are on their way to take your kitchen appliances. Their desire to control every aspect of your life, including how you make breakfast, knows no bounds. They simply cannot stop themselves.”
However, it appears that much of the rhetoric was exaggerated.
A spokesperson for the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement that there was no official proposal on the matter and that any action to regulate gas stoves would be a “lengthy process.”
Richard Trumka Jr., the commissioner who proposed the ban in an interview with Bloomberg News, also tweeted that the commission would consider it “isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves,” he said, adding that any regulations would apply to new products rather than existing stoves.
His initial remarks, however, had already gone viral.
The American Gas Association issued a statement claiming that concerns about natural gas safety are “baseless” and “misguided.”
“Attempts to instil consumer fear with baseless allegations in order to justify a ban on natural gas are a misguided agenda that will not improve the environment or consumer health while burdening vulnerable populations with significant costs,” the trade group said.
Back on Capitol Hill, Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer sought to clear the air about his role in all of this.
Beyer, along with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., wrote a letter last month urging the chair of the safety commission, Alexander Hoehn-Saric, to take action on concerns about harmful indoor air pollutants emitted by gas stoves.
“A lot of gaslighting about gas stoves today,” Beyer tweeted Tuesday. “To be clear, I did not advocate for the prohibition of gas stoves. @SenBooker and I wrote to the @USCPSC, requesting that they look into ways to reduce potential health risks such as childhood asthma.”