Miss. Senator Cosponsors Legislation, Signs Letter Challenging DOE ‘Backdoor Ban’ on Gas Stoves 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) this week cosponsored legislation to counter federal agency efforts to eliminate gas appliances by preserving the ability of consumers to choose what type of stove, water heater, or furnace they want in their homes.

The Natural Gas Appliances Standards (Natural GAS) Act (S.1043) would require the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to certify that any energy efficiency rule for appliances would not result in fuel switching from natural gas or propane to electric appliances.

“The Energy Department has no qualms using the regulatory process to take away gas cooktops and other appliances as options for consumers.  This is government overreach that not only infringes on consumer choice but also manipulates manufacturing and markets negatively,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) authored the Natural GAS Act, which would also:
•    Direct DOE to not put forward a rule limiting the features of gas stoves;
•    Exempt small manufactures from future energy efficiency rulemakings; and
•    Require DOE to perform a full-fuel-cycle analysis as part of the energy efficiency rulemaking process for stoves, water heaters, or furnaces.

Hyde-Smith is also among 13 Senators who this week signed a public comment letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in opposition to a proposed DOE energy conservation rule that would ban the sale of nearly all gas stoves.

“According to your initial study, you proposed to regulate away all but 4 percent of the current market for stoves sold in America,” the Senators wrote, “no objective observer could call this anything other than a backdoor ban and a direct assault on consumer choice.”

“By effectively banning gas stovetops through the imposition of excessively stringent efficiency standards, the Department of Energy is depriving Americans of the freedom to choose the type of appliance that best suits their needs, whether it is for cooking, heating, or any other purpose,” the Senators wrote.  “This overreach not only infringes upon the rights of our citizens but also risks creating a potentially uncompetitive market by limiting the options available to consumers.”

The lawmakers encouraged Granholm abandon the rule and instead find market-driven solutions to promote greater energy efficiency.

Read the letter here.