Two top congressional Republicans are investigating whether green-energy groups and a consumer magazine coordinated with the Biden administration to restrict and even ban the use of gas stoves.
House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer of Kentucky and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas are calling the effort “a hidden pressure campaign” to ban the popular appliances.
They wrote to Consumer Reports, the Climate Imperative Foundation and Rewiring America, demanding information about contact that the groups had with the administration, and in particular the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which voted recently to seek public input about “the chronic hazards associated with gas ranges and proposed solutions.”
The lawmakers are also seeking information about the “precise purpose” of $400,000 that the Climate Imperative Foundation provided to the Windward Fund, which sponsors Rewiring America, a group that has declared its goal is to “electrify everything.” Rewire America recently hired failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, as its senior counsel.
It’s the second request sent to the green energy groups.
The first, sent by Mr. Cruz alone, yielded responses that provided little information.
The two say they want to learn how the green-energy groups may be coordinating with the administration to end the use of gas stoves, which are utilized in 40% of America’s kitchens.
The CPSC voted recently to request public input on “chronic hazards associated with gas stoves.” It was acting at the request of Commissioner Richard Trumka, who recently called gas stoves a “hidden hazard” in response to a disputed study claiming they are to blame for nearly 13% of childhood asthma.
The CPSC is not the only administration agency seeking to limit the use of gas stoves. The Department of Energy is examining stringent new energy efficiency standards for gas stoves that manufacturers say could eliminate many models and double the time it takes to boil water.
Mr. Comer and Mr. Cruz, in their inquiry to Consumer Reports, cited an Oct. 4, 2022 article entitled “Is Your Gas Range a Health Risk?”
An editor’s note at the bottom of the article states that the project “was funded in part with a grant from the Climate Imperative Foundation.”
Mr. Comer and Mr. Cruz note that tax records show Consumer Reports received $375,000 from the Climate Imperative Foundation. They are now seeking from the publication information about the timing of “conversations” regarding its work with CIF regarding the article “and who was involved in those conversations.”
The lawmakers also want to know whether Consumer Reports received money from the Climate Imperative Foundation for two additional articles: “Induction Cooktops and Ranges Are So Good You May Not Miss Your Gas Appliance,” published on Jan. 12, and an Aug. 12, 2022 article entitled “What the Inflation Reduction Act Could mean For Your Next Appliance Purchase.”
The GOP inquiry follows new efforts by Democratic states and local governments to ban new natural gas hookups, while Republican-led states have moved to prohibit natural gas bans.
Last week, the EPA acknowledged it is working on a new rule that would require new natural gas power plants to utilize carbon capture and sequestration technology despite a three-year backlog of dozens of permit applications to build carbon capture infrastructure.
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