Right-wing media are melting down over reporting that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was considering implementing regulations to address health concerns from gas stove emissions. One agency commissioner suggested that a ban on the manufacture or import of new gas stoves for homes and businesses was on the table.
In response to backlash to the report, the agency has clarified that it will not ban gas stoves and is instead looking to strengthen voluntary standards and ask for more information from the public about their gas stove emissions.
The update came after right-wing influencers resorted to performative hand-wringing about the Biden administration’s supposed plan to steal their cherished appliances in their sleep while dismissing the research related to the health and safety of America’s children, whom right-wing media figures insist they champion.
Despite fearmongering, consumers would not have been forced to trash their functioning gas stoves
As Bloomberg reported, potential actions the agency could take include “barring the manufacture or import of gas stoves” or “setting standards on emissions from the appliances.” The agency has further clarified that it is “not looking to ban gas stoves” and has “no proceeding to do so.”
After expressing his undying love for gas stoves in a Twitter argument with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) about health risks, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) has even created a “save our stoves” petition based on misinformation to stop “the maniacs in the White House” from getting “away with this.” Here are some other examples of right-wing media panicking about and misconstruing potential regulations:
- The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh: “You will have to pry my gas stove from my cold dead hands.” [Twitter, 1/9/23]
- Fox Business host Stuart Varney warned that “the government is coming for your gas stove.” Varney falsely claimed that environmental groups want to yank “out the gas stoves used in 40 million American homes.” He continued: “What a farce. Do you really think all the electricity we'll need will come from renewables? Environmentalism is a religion; the greens insist that you worship at their church.” [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 1/10/23]
- Gov. Ron DeSantis’ former press secretary Christina Pushaw: “Biden will ban gas stoves for normal people. Not for elites. This is Soviet America: Rules for thee, not for me.” [Twitter, 1/10/23]
- On his podcast The Benny Show, Newsmax’s Benny Johnson claimed the studies were funded by “environmental terrorists”: “What this is all about, much like so many of these fraudulent studies, is about a political agenda. They don’t like gas, so they want to ban you from being able to cook your food. The end.” [The Benny Show, 1/10/23]
- Fox News host Sean Hannity: “Now not only is Biden coming for your paycheck, but he's also coming for your stove. … These radical extremists in the Democratic Party, they, of course, they want to control the way — what, you now cook?” [Fox News, Hannity, 1/10/23]
- Failed Republican congressional candidate Lavern Spicer: “I’m going to be keeping my gas stove no matter what Joe Biden says.” [Twitter, 1/10/23]
Right-wing media try to dismiss peer-reviewed studies
Right-wing media have been bending over backward to find excuses to dismiss the most recent study, as well as previous studies suggesting that gas stoves pose health risks to families. Scientists’ concern over these appliances and indoor air pollution is not new, despite what some have suggested. Still, conservative media figures are insisting that all of these studies must be politically motivated and therefore unreliable. They claim any ban would be unrelated to public health and would simply enable extreme government overreach. And, further establishing a throughline between climate change skepticism and anti-vax sentiments, some have compared the ban to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. And of course, right-wing media, which have often allied with the fossil fuel industry, are using a potential ban to attack electrification and spread misinformation about natural gas. Far from a bridge fuel, it releases methane, an extremely potent climate-warming greenhouse gas.
- National Review called the health concerns “hysteria” and directed readers to a 2021 article: “Banning natural gas in restaurants means you would be waiting longer for your favorite meal and paying more for it. We all want clean, affordable, and reliable energy. Natural gas provides all three.” [National Review, 1/9/23, 8/2/21]
- Right-wing media watchdog Media Research Center called the potential ban the “latest leftist attempt to meddle in your life”: “Protecting ‘public health’ is almost always a smokescreen for exerting power and expanding government control over the private sector. … Surrender to the government’s demand, or we’ll ruin you.” [mrcTV, 1/9/23]
- Fox News @ Night anchor Trace Gallagher on Tucker Carlson Tonight claimed the study is not reliable: “The study was co-authored by a liberal think tank that advocates for electrifying building. … A group that represents gas range manufacturers points out that regardless of what kind of stove you use, cooking itself produces byproducts and that ventilation is really the remedy. … It won't be long before they also come for gas fireplaces.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 1/9/23]
- Former Daily Caller writer Logan Hall: “right-wing environmentalism: beauty, nature, stewardship, preservation. left-wing environmentalism: poverty, wind turbines, unaffordable EVs, gas stove bans.” [Twitter, 1/9/23]
- Fox News host Tucker Carlson: “The Biden administration wants to protect you, they want to protect you — the same people who mandated an untested COVID shot and then attacked anyone who was injured by it want to protect you. Actually, the Biden administration is in fact taking a major step to ban fossil fuels and control your personal life.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 1/9/23]
- Former Fox News producer Kyle Becker: “Don’t you dare even consider this, ecofascists. Natural gas is clean-burning on top of your futile climate change idiocy.” [Twitter, 1/9/23]
- Conservative writer and PoliMath substack author Matt Shapiro: “I didn't have ‘full frontal assault on gas stoves’' on my bingo card but I guess here we are. I'm sure that, unlike every other bizarre, insane thing that we've been subjected to by fake experts over the last several years, this one is for real.” [Twitter, 1/9/23]
- Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested “mass disobedience in the face of tyranny” in response to a potential ban on gas stoves. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 1/10/23]
- The Wall Street Journal editorial board: “The agency’s purported concern is that gas stoves cause indoor air pollution and asthma, though there’s scant evidence to support such claims. … Mr. Trumka wants to use indoor pollution as a pretext to advance the climate left’s goal of forcing all buildings to use electricity for everything.” [Wall Street Journal, 1/10/23]
- Fox Business host Larry Kudlow calls research linking gas stoves to health problems “junk science”: “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission getting ready to allegedly ban gas stoves because allegedly of harmful indoor air pollutants. And to back up their valiant fight, they have all these junk science studies.” [Fox Business, Kudlow, 1/10/23]
- Washington Free Beacon reporter Joe Gabriel Simonson: “When this study, which was led by an activist group, is debunked these guys will never speak of it again but continue to support banning gas stoves because in 24 hours that’s what democratic spokespeople believe now.” [Twitter, 1/10/23]
- Fox News Radio’s Jimmy Failla pushed climate change denial in a discussion of the potential ban on Varney & Co: “The climate crowd has been pounding the table for years that the world’s going to end, but only data we have on climate change is that the people pushing it are getting loaded. … That’s the scam of climate change.” [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 1/10/23]
- Newsmax contributor and TownHall columnist Gavin Wax: “They want to ban gas stoves because of one study but won’t ban all the toxic chemicals in our food…which are already banned by most Western countries…got it! Something tells me this isn’t about our health….” [Twitter, 1/10/23]
- Fox News anchor Dana Perino on America’s Newsroom said she is weary of trusting public health experts but is “all for helping children’s health”: “I think that we ought to be cautious. … Why are we doing this? Do we not see what is happening in Europe right now? Diversity, folks." [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 1/10/23]
- Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade thinks this is all about control: “The other thing is that this is all about climate change, it’s not gonna matter, and for people who say it gives you asthma, they say even the study says unless you had asthma already it is not going to affect you at all. So they want you to make the switch, but then the more you make the switch to electric, the more responsibility they have for you to decide who’s cooking, how hot your house is, and how much you can drive.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 1/10/23]
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): “The Biden Administration is once again going to extreme lengths to appease Green New Deal fanatics – they’re considering a national ban on gas stoves.” [Twitter, 1/9/23]
- Fox co-host Emily Compagno falsely said that electric stoves are more dangerous than gas stoves: “The only time I set fire to my kitchen was with an electric stove when I knocked over the paper towels and it immediately caught on fire. So, that, as we have talked about too in the break, the danger to kids and families, it's actually much more with the electric stove, not to mention the cooking on it.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 1/10/23]
- Frequent Fox guest and climate contrarian Bjorn Lomborg: “You should have carbon monoxide measures so you don't have it running wild and actually either blow up your house or make you severely ill or that it contributes a lot of particulate air pollution, but it is kind of funny they want to ban gas stoves but they have not thought about these other two things that pollute lots, lots more, which is wood stoves, and candles.” [Fox News, America Reports, 1/10/23]
- Fox Business host Stuart Varney suggested environmentalists want to ban gas stoves because “that’s a fossil fuel” and “they don’t like it”: “The environmentalists, the greens, are getting into every single aspect of life. … I mean, is there any end to this? [Fox News, Varney & Co., 1/10/23]
- Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy: “My first thought is how will I heat my tortillas???!!! Biden so racist. This war on gas stoves is (no surprise) a war on the poor & working class since cooking w/ gas is cheaper. Biden Administration always looking for new ways to make Americans poorer!” [Twitter, 1/9/23]
- Fossil fuel industry shill and Fox News contributor Steve Milloy: “Sorry @USCPSC, your new study does NOT link gas stoves w/asthma in kids:
1. No children studied in new 'study.'
2. Results not statistically significant.
3. Asthma = allergic disease, but gas stoves emit no allergens.” [Twitter, 1/10/23]
- Conservative radio host Jason Rantz on Fox News: “The only reason they want to ban gas stoves is because it is fueled by gas. This isn't about the health effects. … The movement here is to go all electric. And they’re going to force it on us eventually.” [Fox News, Faulkner Focus, 1/10/23]
- Dark money group Power the Future founder Daniel Turner: “The Biden Administration wants to ban gas stoves. Let me make one thing clear: It's not about safety — it's about control.” [Twitter, 1/10/23]
- Fox News The Five co-hosts ran a segment blasting the recommendation. Co-host Jeanine Pirro called the recommendation the “ultimate nanny state” while co-host Jesse Watters dismissed it as “an attack on natural gas” funded by a fossil fuel-hostile organization. Co-host Dana Perino suggested the recommendation was only further fearmongering, noting, “This comes out on the same day we find out that the ozone layer is now, like, not a problem.” [Fox News, The Five, 1/10/23]
- Fox host Jesse Watters: “They’re trying to force their green industrial revolution on us, whether we want it or not. Seems like this is just a ploy to get them to buy more stuff the Democrats are selling.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 1/10/23]
Conservative influencers continued to rail about the ban after it was walked back
Even after the agency said that there would be no ban, right-wing media continued to mislead the public by pushing the idea that the government would be coming to steal gas stoves across the country and otherwise criticize the possibility of regulations.
- Turner: “WATCH: @SenJohnKennedy says President Biden ‘has a team of morons’ for considering a ban on gas stoves.” [Twitter, 1/12/23]
- The Gateway Pundit: “The abrupt push by Democrats led by the Biden Regime to ban gas stoves has enraged and confused Americans across the country. … Certainly looks like the Regime and its fellow Democrats have received marching orders from their globalist masters.” [The Gateway Pundit, 1/11/23]
- Right-wing Twitter influencer Catturd: “If they banned gas stoves - 99% of restaurants in the USA would have to close tomorrow. Mock these stupid idiots, laugh at them, and never comply.” [Twitter, 1/11/23]
- Hannity on The Sean Hannity Show: “The Consumer Product Safety Commission now, they’re going to ban gas stoves. … About 40 percent of households would be impacted by this. By the way, how are we gonna pay for these good new gas stoves? What about people that can't afford them to get a new stove?” [The Sean Hannity Show, 1/11/23]
- Hannity contended that the government does not believe cigarettes or gas stoves pose health risks: “They're coming for our gas stoves, and they've given us a phony excuse, telling us the Consumer Product Safety Commission said that they're considering a ban. They're not even giving you the choice. … If the government believed what they said about cigarettes, they wouldn't be profiting from cigarettes. They would stop profiting from cigarettes. And what they would do is an outright ban.” [The Sean Hannity Show, 1/11/23]
- Far-right commentator Ian Miles Cheong: “For real though they want to ban gas stoves to make you dependent on the energy grid. That is the only reason.” [Twitter, 1/11/23]
- The Epoch Times neglected to mention UCPSC’s statement: “American Gas Association Says Possible Ban On Gas Stoves 'Reckless,' Not Based On 'Sound Science,'” the publication wrote, adding that the agency “has not yet proposed any regulatory actions.” [Epoch Times, 1/11/23]
- Radio host James Golden: “Electric appliance advocates backed study driving push to ban gas stoves.” [Twitter, 1/11/23]
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: “Don’t tread on Florida, and don’t mess with gas stoves!” [Twitter, 1/12/23]
- Right-wing commentator Tim Young: “Fun Fact: There is ZERO evidence that gas stoves are bad.” [Twitter, 1/12/23]
Efforts to electrify buildings and vehicles have also been a focus of right-wing attacks
This isn’t the first time right-wing media have freaked out about so-called consumer choice and electrification. They responded similarly to legislation in New York City and California banning the sale of various new gas-powered appliances such as heaters and water boilers, and to the ban on the sale of new gas-powered cars in California. In those instances as well, consumers are not being forced to immediately switch their cars and appliances.
On the January 11 segment of The Ingraham Angle, host Laura Ingraham attacked gas bans in cities across the country: “The federal government may back down this whole natural gas banning for the time being, but not these fanatics. … How much suffering will California and New York and Massachusetts and New Jersey, how much will they have to go through?” she said.
Lee Zeldin, a former Republican candidate for New York governor, told Ingraham that the economic consequences of a gas ban “are dire.” He continued, “These people are beholden to the environmental crazies.”
In February, Fox News recruited celebrity chef Andrew Gruel to lead the fight against electric stoves. At that time, Gruel made the case that not only would shifting to gas stoves “change the face of cooking – we’re going to be microwaving absolutely everything,” but also that doing so would be a “tax on the lower class” because of the cost “to retrofit and rip a lot of these ethnic kitchens apart that rely on things like the wok.”
On January 10, Gruel appeared on the network almost a year later to argue “they’re using our kids as fodder and bait for their insanity” and claiming that it was “written by an environmental think tank … whose financial incentive is to reduce greenhouse emissions.” He then accused the study of “trying to cherry-pick as much statistical analysis as they can to even put together an argument supporting this idea that asthma can be connected, and it’s not.”
On Twitter, Gruel vowed to tape himself to a gas stove until the idea for a ban “is completely eliminated from everybody’s minds.” In another tweet, he claimed, “We have used gas stoves for hundreds of years. There is no correlation between an increase in childhood asthma and their use.”
Even if there were unlimited reliable evidence on the harm that gas stoves pose to human health, the right would not support electrification. And even if gas stoves did not harm children, the fact that methane emissions from natural gas are rapidly warming the climate should be enough to encourage a transition toward electric appliances. The right is attempting to reinforce natural gas as a clean and safe fuel when scientists agree that it isn’t. They are also making accusations about politicizing health issues, but that is precisely what they are doing.