A federal official appointed by U.S. President Joe Biden wanted to ban gas stoves, according to a leaked memorandum.
“There is sufficient information available for CPSC to issue an NPR in FY 2023 proposing to ban gas stoves in homes,” Richard Trumka Jr., a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission commissioner, wrote in the Oct. 25, 2022, memo.
NPR stands for notice of proposed rulemaking while FY stands for fiscal year.
The memo was obtained by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity and reviewed by The Epoch Times.
Trumka Jr. triggered a firestorm in January after saying that all options were on the table when it came to gas stoves.
“My guiding duty is protecting consumer health and safety. Gas stoves can emit dangerous level of toxic chemicals—even when not in use—and CPSC will consider all approaches to regulation,” Trumka Jr. said at the time.
U.S. lawmakers have criticized the floating of a ban, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). Others have urged the CPSC to impose new regulations on gas stoves.
Other officials quickly walked back Trumka’s comments.
“I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,” Alex Hoehn-Saric, chair of the CPSC, said in a statement. The White House also said President Joe Biden would not back a gas stove ban and that the CPSC “is not banning gas stoves.”
Fact-checking articles from the Associated Press, the New York Times, and other agencies claimed that the administration was not going to or trying to ban stoves, claims contradicted by the leaked memo.
Trumka wrote in the document, addressed to fellow Commissioner Peter Feldman, that the need for gas stove regulation “has reached a boiling point” as “emerging evidence” showed that “gas stoves in homes emit toxic gasses that cause illnesses and that lower-cost, safer alternatives are available.” He cited a paper from the New York University School of Law, which pointed to papers that have found high nitrogen dioxide levels in homes with gas stoves and advocated for CPSC to “address the risks of indoor air pollution from gas stoves.” He also noted that New York and Los Angeles have already banned gas stoves in newly constructed buildings.
Federal law empowers CPSC to regulate consumer products that emit toxic chemicals. To impose a ban, the commission must find the hazard is serious enough to require a ban.
“Procedurally, a ban would require several findings in the regulatory analysis—in summary: (1) there is no relevant voluntary standard, the voluntary standard is insufficient, or substantial compliance with the voluntary standard is unlikely: (2) the expected benefits of the rule bear a reasonable relationship to its costs, considering the distribution of benefits and costs; and (3) the regulation is the least burdensome way to adequately reduce the risk of injury,” Trumka wrote.
Evidence already supports emissions from the stoves being toxic while there is no relevant voluntary standard, he added. Additionally, “the costs of installing new electric stoves are typically lower than the costs of installing new gas stoves, even without the subsidies,” so “the costs of the rule to consumers would be negligible.”
The CPSC, Trumka, and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.
The leaked memo “proves [the] Biden administration intended to ban gas stoves,” the Committee to Unleash Prosperity said.
The CPSC is an independent federal agency that imposes regulations on consumer products, including by developing mandatory standards for products and researching potential hazards.
Biden nominated Trumka Jr. to the commission in July 2021. At the time, Trumka was a lawyer for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform.
The Senate confirmed the nomination by voice vote.
Trumka Jr.’s term is seven years.
Feldman is a Trump appointee whose term runs until the fall of 2026. Mary Boyle, the third commissioner, is a Biden appointee. Hoehn-Saric is also a Biden appointee.
Trumka’s proposed notice of rulemaking was not issued, but a different notice has been.
The CPSC issued a notice on March 7 for information “on chronic hazards associated with gas ranges and proposed solutions to those hazards.”
“We are looking for research on the health hazards associated with gas exposure, data on chemical emissions, test methods, and effective solutions with cost-benefit analyses,” Trumka said.
The three Biden appointees voted to issue the notice while Feldman voted against it.
Trumka, during a 2022 meeting, wanted to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for gas stoves but acknowledged the proposal lacked support from other commissioners. He introduced the notice as a substitute.
From The Epoch Times