Republicans, including both politicians and pundits, have jumped on another culture war bandwagon.
This time, those on the right have spent the past week fear-mongering their base that the Biden Administration is coming for their gas stoves.
Except that isn’t even a thing.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission – which regulates manufacturers, not consumers – recently announced it was researching the potential dangers of methane emissions from gas stoves.
Baseless accusations from the right ran the gamut from ridiculous to outright lies.
“I’ll NEVER give up my gas stove,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) tweeted on Wednesday. “If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands. COME AND TAKE IT!!”
I’ll NEVER give up my gas stove. If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands. COME AND TAKE IT!!
— Ronny Jackson (@RonnyJacksonTX) January 10, 2023
Congressman Jackson fails to explain why his dead hands would be cold if they are gripping a hot, lit stove, but actual reality is rarely a Republican concern.
The gaslighting and misinformation from the right led the chair of the CPSC, Alex Hoehn-Saric, to release a statement on Twitter pushing back on lies.
“Over the past several days, there has been a lot of attention paid to gas stove emissions and to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” Hoehn-Saric wrote.
“Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards. But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”
I want to set the record straight.
— Alex Hoehn-Saric (@HoehnSaricCPSC) January 11, 2023
In August, President Joe Biden signed the Democratic-sponsored Inflation Reduction Act. Aside from allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, and capping the cost of insulin for seniors at $35 a month, $4.5 billion in funding was added to allow states to provide rebates to consumers wishing to switch from gas to electric appliances – including stoves, wall ovens and induction ranges, Consumer Reports wrote.
A completely voluntary program, Americans can receive a rebate of up to $840 on the purchase of a new electric cooking appliance – and an additional $500 for gas to electric conversion.
Consumers needing an electric panel upgrade could receive up to $4000 in the form of a tax credit.
However, when it comes to Republicans, facts don’t matter.
On Friday, newly “elected” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined in the gas stove panic.
While President Biden wants to control the kind of stove Americans can cook on, House Republicans are certainly cooking with gas.
This week wasn't just the start of a new Congress—it is the start of a new direction in Washington.https://t.co/AwlyTtfJCs
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 13, 2023
Sen. Blackburn accused the government of having “too much power.”
A government that thinks it can control what stove you use is a government with too much power.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 13, 2023
It should be noted that Sen. Blackburn has a long legislative history of intruding on the personal freedoms and liberties of American citizens – particularly members of the LGBTQ and those seeking reproductive healthcare.
According to the LGBTQ rights group GLADD, the longtime public servant has voted against the marriage equality act, legislation that would protect members of the community from violence and discrimination, and supported former President Trump’s ban on transgender servicemen and women.
On the Senator’s own website, Blackburn highlights her support of anti-abortion legislation that would make it difficult for a child under the age of 18 to receive necessary reproductive healthcare. The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act makes transporting a minor across state lines to obtain a safe and legal abortion.
That is a government with too much power.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety commissioner, Richard Trumka Jr., scoffed at the GOP’s claims.
“We are not looking to go into anyone’s homes and take away items that are already there,” Trumka told CNN. “We don’t do that.”
“Consumers always have the choice of what to keep in their homes and we want to make sure they do that with full information,” Trumka added.
Though gas stoves have been linked to childhood asthma, according to a December report published in the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, if there was to be regulations on the appliance it would be on new products – not existing ones.
Nearly 13% of asthma in children has been attributed to the use of gas stoves, CNN reported.
Republicans weren’t the only ones creating a fuss. The Senate’s lone-remaining DINO (Democrat in Name Only), Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) made the less-than-factual claim that the federal government was “telling American families how to cook their dinner.”
“I have no intention of coming for Senator Manchin’s… any of his items,” Trumka responded after the West Virginia coal baron boasted that the last thing he would rid his home of is the gas stove.
“We try to look at ways to make things safe,” the CPSC commissioner told reporters. “That is goal one.”
That should be every American’s goal, but unfortunately, in today’s climate, every issue in the Republicans’ hyperpartisan culture war game – regardless of the dangers to society or its people – is fair game for politicization.
Keeping in line with the Republican-made hysteria, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) introduced legislation to ban the banning of gas stoves. H.r. 263, the Stop Trying to Obsessively Vilify Energy (STOVE) Act.
While it may be able to pass with Republicans in the majority in the House, the bill’s future in the Senate looks less assured.
Original reporting by Matt Egan at CNN.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick